FILIPINOS held a rally at the monument of the late Senator Benigno ‘Ninoy’ S. Aquino, Jr. on Ayala Avenue in Makati City in celebration of the 38th anniversary of the People Power Revolution on Sunday. — PHILIPPINE STAR/MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

CIVIC groups on Sunday said police restricted some of their protests marking the 38th anniversary of a “People Power” uprising that toppled the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos in 1986.

Activists from Cavite and Laguna provinces who were headed for Metro Manila to join broad protests there had been blocked and detained at checkpoints, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), one of largest opposition groups in the country, said in statement.

Cops occupied all plazas in Naga City in southern Luzon and installed checkpoints in Miagao, Iloilo in central Philippines, Bayan said.

“They are a public nuisance, a waste of government resources and a clear sign of police intolerance against any form of dissent,” it said. “The police repression is intended to derail the People Power commemoration and silence those who are speaking out against Charter change (“Cha-cha”).”

Presidential Communications Office Secretary Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil did not immediately reply to a Viber message seeking comment. President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., the dictator’s son, did not include the 38th anniversary of the 1986 uprising along EDSA, a major highway in the capital region where Filipinos rallied to demand the ouster of the elder Marcos, in the list of holidays this year.

“The coordinated actions of the police reflect Malacañang’s willful disregard of the historic significance of the 1986 People Power, the suppression of free speech under the Marcos Jr. government and the paranoia of authorities with regard to the rising public outrage against Charter change,” Bayan said.

Protesters rallied against the government’s push to ease foreign ownership limits in the 1987 Constitution.

House Speaker and presidential cousin Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez had been linked to a so-called people’s initiative for Charter change.

The Commission on Elections last month suspended proceedings related to the initiative, which is still being investigated by the Senate.

Charter change has been a major source of tension between the two chambers of Congress, with House leaders urging senators to fast-track debates.

Groups under the No To Cha Cha Network marched to the EDSA Shrine on Sunday afternoon. Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, was scheduled to hold a mass there at 6 p.m.

Buhay ang EDSA Campaign Network, another anti- “Cha-cha” coalition, held a gathering in the morning at Club Filipino in San Juan City, which was attended by members of the Liberal Party and Akbayan Party.

The network was set to hold a musical event at the People Power Monument along EDSA in the evening.

Bayan cited the need to continue the unfinished work of the EDSA uprising. “The elite and foreign-dominated economic and political system remained,” it said.

“We call on every Filipino to remember the power within their voice,” the Liberal Party said in a statement. “Let us honor the heroes of EDSA not just with words, but with action. Let us demand transparency and accountability from our leaders, reminding them that they serve the people, not themselves.” — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza