DILG bans mass gatherings ahead of Duterte’s SONA
MANILA, Philippines — Ahead of the President’s fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 27, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has released a memorandum reiterating that mass gatherings are prohibited.
With this, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Major Gen. Debold Sinas said his office will hold a dialogue with militant and progressive groups on changes for protests during the fifth SONA.
“On our initial dialogue, we have agreed to that pero kakausapin pa kasi namin sila (protest groups) kasi a new directive is being issued kahapon lang ito. Issued from chief executive galing sa DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government),” Sinas said in a press conference at Quezon City on Friday when asked if protesters will be allowed to hold physical rallies in the streets.
(On our initial dialogue, we have agreed to that but we will still talk to them because of a new directive issued yesterday. This is from chief executive from DILG.)
“It is a directive subject for strict compliance of IATF (Inter Agency Task Force) Resolution No. 57, reiterating prohibition on mass gathering dated July 23, 2020,” he added.
Specifically, the DILG memorandum states that “IATF strongly reiterates that mass gatherings, such as but not limited to movie screenings, sporting events, and other entertainment activities, community assemblies and non-essential work gatherings are prohibited.”
INQUIRER.net has sought clarifications from DILG on the recently issued memorandum for protests during the fifth SONA but has yet to reply as of posting.
Earlier, PNP spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said the police force will field 5,000 law enforcers to secure SONA and assist the protesters in following minimum health protocols during rallies.