The Philippine National Police (PNP) is urging protesters planning to hold rallies on the day of President Rodrigo Duterte’s 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA) to just stage their protests online.
PNP Chief PGen. Archie Gamboa said the PNP is always at maximum tolerance and reiterated that everyone is entitled to freedom of expression.
However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, mass gatherings are discouraged to prevent the further spread of the virus.
“Nakikiusap lang kami na kung pwede (We are only asking if it would be possible to) just do it online because these are not ordinary times,” he said.
Gamboa also said they are coordinating with militant leaders to urge them not to hold street protests. He also assured that the PNP has prepared the security for the 5th SONA of the president.
“So ngayon ang mga traffic at security plan within and outside of the Batasang Pambansa ay firmed up na po at itong Wednesday magkakaroon kami ng final conference regarding po dito sa security preparations, (For now the traffic and security plans within and outside of the Batasang Pambansa has been firmed up. This Wednesday we will have a final conference regarding security preparations),” according to PNP Director and Directorate for Operations PMGen. Emmanuel Licup. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)