Bayan rejects online protests for Duterte’s SONA
A militant group will not heed the call of the Philippine National Police to stay home and protest online when President Duterte delivers his State of the Nation Address (Sona) on July 27.
Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes said they would push through with their annual “Sona ng Bayan” in the streets “because of the intolerable attacks on our basic rights and freedoms—the passage of a terror law against dissent, the shutdown of a broadcast network and the massacre of thousands of jobs, and the failed response to the health and economic crisis.”Protests would be done online and offline, he stressed, adding, “Now more than ever, people need to speak out because the government has failed us.”
No effigy of Mr. Duterte would be physically burned for this year’s Sona but for the first time, Bayan would be parading a “virtual effigy.”
Peaceful exercise of rights
“The nationwide protests, short and limited as they may be due to the pandemic, still fall under the peaceful exercise of our constitutional rights,” Reyes said.
“Amid state terror and government neglect, we call on the people to resist, speak out and protest—online and offline. We believe in the people’s courage amid this pandemic,” he added.
Participants, however, would be asked to wear face masks and bring disinfectants, similar to the previous rallies on the campus of the University of the Philippines, Commission on Human Rights, Batasan Pambansa and ABS-CBN TV network. —Dexter Cabalza INQ
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