By Arwen Pascua
MANILA — The Philippine National Police (PNP) has designated three (3) freedom parks in Quezon City where protesters can hold their activities during the State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.
PMGen Valeriano de Leon, PNP Director for Operations, said protesters could hold their program at the Quezon Memorial Circle, inside the compound of the Commission on Human Rights and inside the UP Diliman Campus.
“We appeal to the organizers of the protest actions to limit their activities in these freedom parks to prevent disturbance of the smooth traffic flow in the area and to avoid unnecessary confrontation with the police,” said De Leon.
“As instructed by our PNP OIC, PLtGen Vicente Danao Jr., we will exercise maximum tolerance.” If they go out of the freedom parks, then the corresponding police response will be done by our CDM units on the ground
“If they go out of the freedom parks and it will disturb traffic and peace and order, then we will disperse them at all cost,” he added.
De Leon also said that they will enforce the law, Batas Pambansa 880, which prohibits the burning of effigies.
Based on the data they received, De Leon said the group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) has filed a request with the Quezon City government to hold protest action at Commonwealth Avenue.
He, however, said that they are still verifying with the QC government whether this had already been granted.
Almost 22,000 police personnel and force multipliers will be deployed to secure President Marcos’ SONA on July 25.
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has already released a traffic rerouting plan in Quezon City.
De Leon said the IBP Road will be closed on July 25 to give way to the SONA as a number of people are expected to attend the activity.
De Leon added that there would be security and traffic adjustments depending on the situation on the ground.
De Leon then appealed to the protesters to give President Marcos a chance to discuss his plan for the country.
“Nanawagan tayo sa mga raliyista na bigyan ng tsansa ang ating Pangulong Bongbong Marcos. Kailangan nating marinig ang SONA para kung may issue later on, meron silang batayan ng kanilang mga isyu,” said De Leon.
“Pero sa ngayon ay wala pang batayan dahil naguumpisa pa lang ang kanyang panunungkulan bilang Pangulo ng ating bansa, “he added. (ai/mtvn)