MANILA, Philippines — Protesters burned an effigy of President Benigno Aquino III and egged anti-riot police to mark Monday’s opening of the 16th Congress where Aquino is expected to deliver his 4th State of the Nation Address later in the day.
Led by the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) in Southern Tagalog, the militants hurled eggs at a police blockade near Ever Gotesco in Commonwealth after burning an effigy of Aquino.
The eggs are supposed to symbolize Aquino’s “failing grade” of his three-year leadership, the militants said.
Police, who were in their full anti- riot gear, were told to exercise maximum tolerance.
Police estimate the number of protesters to be about 400 but expects this to swell to a thousand in the afternoon.
The effigy, dubbed as “Pison,” is supposed to depict “a machinery constructed and controlled by Uncle Sam that drives over and kills innocent civilians in its way.”
“Aquino’s character as the primary subservient to US imperialist powers in the Asia Pacific region has alreadt been exposed. What the people need to do is to unite and fight against this oppressive system. Only through people’s collective actions can hope for a better future flourish,” said Mark Adrienne Ng, spokesperson of Bayan in Southern Tagalog.
Militants slammed the government’s program such as public-private partnership and the Internal Security Plan Bayanihan,among others.
“Aquino has proven that his so-called straight path is actually a straight path to death, with policies that target the destruction of the livelihood, homes and even the lives of the urban poor,” Ng said.
Protesters started their program as early as 6 a.m. on a makeshift stage.
Another effigy will be burned by the same time Aquino delivers his speech at the Batasan Complex.