Protest actions related to President Rodrigo Duterte’s upcoming State of the Nation Address (SONA) will no longer be allowed in Quezon City, its local government said Friday.
The city government made the announcement just days before Duterte’s SONA at the Batasang Pambansa on July 27.
It cited as basis of its order the prohibition on mass gatherings amid the threat of coronavirus disease as reiterated in the Inter-Agency Task Force Resolution No. 57 dated July 21.
“…The Quezon City Government, thru the City Legal Department, would like to inform the public that all applications for permits to organize or hold public assemblies shall not be processed,” it said on a Facebook post.
“At the same time, those deemed issued because no action was taken after two days following the date of application, are in the same manner revoked,” it added.
The announcement came just days after Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said the city would still allow physical rallies for the President’s SONA provided that the number of participants will be limited and would have to comply with the minimum health standards.
Belmonte also said that those who wish to join protest actions on Monday should coordinate with the police and local government to get permit as provided under the law.
Several groups have already announced their plan to hold physical and virtual protests on Monday.
Malacañang earlier said the president will physically deliver his speech at the Batasang Pambansa despite the threat of COVID-19. Around 50 lawmakers and 15 members of the Cabinet and security aides will be allowed to physically witness the President’s address.