Protesters to use virtual effigy for SONA rally | Inquirer News

Protesters to use virtual effigy for SONA rally

/ 11:42 AM July 22, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Considering the need for physical distancing amid the threat of the coronavirus disease 2019, protesters will be using a virtual effigy during the protests that will coincide with President Rodrigo Duterte’s fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 27.

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) Secretary-General Renato Reyes Jr. said Wednesday that this is the first time that they will use a virtual effigy for the SONA protests. The burning of effigies has been the centerpiece of mass demonstrations in the past.

According to Reyes, artists from Sama-samang Artista para sa Kilusang Agraryo (SAKA) will create an “e-ffigy” which will be a miniature of the usual protest art. The burning of the virtual effigy will be filmed then distributed online.


“So instead of just one rally burning the effigy, the virtual or e-ffigy can be used in various events in the provinces and abroad. You can also use it for online protests or zoom meetings,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.


Artists from SAKA have yet to unveil the design of the protest art as of posting time.

The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered adjustments in the holding of protests in the country, with the observance of physical distancing, shorter programs, and even the conduct of online rallies.

“Social solidarity is important even with physical distancing. Physical protests are necessary given the vicious attacks on our rights and freedoms. The organizers of the protest are doing everything to make the event safe for all participants,” added Reyes.

The main SONA protest is expected to be held along Commonwealth Avenue, in front of the Commission of Human Rights (CHR), in Quezon City. Reyes noted that the CHR office is symbolic of the “human rights crisis” currently being faced by the country.

The program will be held from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., shorter than usual SONA protests.

Similar to the Independence Day protest on June 12, protesters will be required to wear face masks, and to stand on marked areas to maintain physical distance.


The protesters will be “masked but not silenced,” which had been a popular slogan during recent mass actions, according to the Bayan leader.

“The grave threat to public health and safety is the veerus in the Palace. Even during a pandemic, they passed a terror law, shut down ABS-CBN, and are now pushing Charter Change and the removal of term limits. It is the worst kind of political opportunism,” added Reyes.

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TAGS: Bayan, effigy, Renato Reyes, Sona

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