Sona street protests saw ‘explosion of protest art’ — Bayan
MANILA, Philippines —The street demonstrations held on Monday in protest of President Rodrigo Duterte’s fourth State of the Nation Address (Sona) was an “explosion of protest art,” Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) Secretary General Renato Reyes said.
“Yesterday’s Sona saw an explosion of protest art on the streets as participants made known their stand on the West Philippine Sea and Duterte’s betrayal,” Reyes said in a statement.
He added that the Sona protests throughout the country were “generally peaceful yet militant.”
National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Director Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said no untoward incidents were reported during the Sona protests.
Although Reyes said he received reports of harassments and blockades done by the police or military, for the most part, “the people were able to assert their freedom of expression and right to peaceably assemble.”
“We appreciate the dialogue and coordination between the various government agencies and the organizers,” the Bayan Secretary General said. “We have always kept our word in any meaningful dialogue.”
“Barricades, barbed wires, container vans, blockades and even random searches are thus unnecessary if there is a prior agreement between two parties.”
Reyes also thanked Eleazar for making the dialogue possible. /muf
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