Palace to SONA protesters: Go online please
MANILA, Philippines — Protesters must be an example to everyone by avoiding mass gatherings and holding their activities for President Rodrigo Duterte’s fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) online, Malacañang said Monday.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque made the appeal as he noted the existing guidelines of the government’s COVID-19 task force limiting mass gatherings amid the pandemic.
“Sana po, magsilbing halimbawa sa lahat, iwasan po muna natin ang pagtipon tipon. Mababalewala po yung araw araw nating sinasabi na social distancing kung makikita doon mismo sa SONA, at nakatutok ang mga media sa SONA, ay maraming nagtitipon tipon,” Roque said in an online briefing.
(I hope that they will serve as an example to everyone. Let’s avoid gathering. It will make our reminders to observe social distancing worthless if they are seen gathering during the SONA.)
“Para po sa ating mga sarili, para po sa ating mga anak, online protest po kung pupuwede,” he went on.
(For ourselves, for our children, let’s hold an online protest instead.)
The President is to physically deliver his fifth SONA at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City on July 27.
“Ako po’y inuulit ko lang kung ano yung nasa ordinansa ng Quezon City at kung ano yung guidelines na inissue ng IATF [Inter-agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases]. Sa lugar po na covered by GCQ [general community quarantine], hanggang sampu lang po ang mass gathering,” Roque said.
(I’m only repeating the ordinance of Quezon City and the guidelines of the IATF. In areas under GCQ, mass gatherings are only up to 10 people.)
Metro Manila is under GCQ until July 31.
“So pinapaalala po natin na merong ordinansa at may katungkulan din po ang mga kapulisan na ipatupad ang mga ordinansang ito,” he added.
(So we remind you that there is an existing ordinance and it is the duty of our police to implement this.)
The Philippine National Police also earlier urged groups to stage their protests online.
During Duterte’s fifth SONA, only a maximum of 50 people will be allowed inside the venue.[ac]
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