Espinoza: Threats of protests?

·3 min read

On Monday, the leadership of the Philippine National Police (PNP) warned groups or individuals who may stage protests or rallies during the joint session of Congress that started Tuesday, May 24, the canvassing of the votes for the president and vice president in the just concluded May 9, 2022 general elections. The canvassing is expected to end either on May 27 or 28.

While it’s the role of the national police to keep peace and maintain order, especially after the general elections, the warning is an indication that there are still those who doubt the integrity of the May 9 elections despite the claims of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) that the last exercise of our right of suffrage was almost immaculate except for a thousand VCMs (vote counting machines) that malfunctioned and the occurrence of brownouts in some areas of the country.

But, the leadership of the PNP, aware of our constitutional right to peaceably assemble and to rightfully protest for grievances, would allow protests only if the organizers have secured the necessary permits from local government units, or in the City of Pasay where the House of Representatives is situated and where the joint session is held.

PNP director for operations Maj. Gen. Valeriano de Leon said rally organizers must secure the necessary permits from local government units for the conduct of their protest. The police will not, however, prevent protests conducted in Freedom Parks. Otherwise, that would defeat the purpose of having Freedom Parks.

The group that filed a petition before the Supreme Court to enjoin Congress from canvassing the votes, particularly for Bongbong Marcos, may hold a protest in the vicinity of the House of Representatives since its appeal before the Supreme Court on the decision of the Comelec dismissing their petition to cancel the certificate of candidacy of BBM and to disqualify him is still pending resolution.

Expect the group that supports BBM’s candidacy to brand the protesters as sore losers. In my years of existence in this mortal world, I have yet to witness a candidate who lost in an election who would keep his silence, especially when the result appears doubtful. Let’s just wish that there would be no untoward incidents during the canvassing by Congress.

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WORTHY. The show of good comportments and courtesy by Gov. Gwen Garcia and Vice Gov. Junjun Davide, the two top officials of the Province of Cebu who were reelected in the recently concluded elections, is worthy of emulation by the other politicians.

On Monday, Vice Governor Davide paid a visit to Governor Garcia at her office to congratulate the latter for her reelection even if they were not partymates. Governor Garcia ran and won under her One Cebu Party, while Davide ran and won under the Liberal Party, his party since he joined politics.

SunStar Cebu reported that the two officials exchanged pleasantries and had a photo op. It was also reported that Governor Gwen and Vice Governor Davide agreed to work together on the various Capitol projects. The vice governor chose the right approach since, even though he is the presiding officer of the Provincial Board, the current composition of the Board is mostly members of the governor’s One Cebu Party.

In their current term, Vice Governor Davide has always been cooperative of Capitol’s projects that were initiated by Governor Gwen. In other words, the team-up of the governor and the vice governor is only a matter of formalizing it, so to speak.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.”

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