Protesters troop to UP Diliman for Duterte’s 5th SONA
MANILA, Philippines — Groups from different sectors trooped to the University of the Philippines Diliman on Monday to hold protests against President Rodrigo Duterte’s fifth State of the Nation Address.
The protest action, dubbed as “SONAgkaisa,” will focus on a number of issues, including the government’s response to the coronavirus disease crisis, the denial of a 25-year franchise for media giant ABS-CBN, and the enactment of the controversial anti-terror law.
Youth groups have also gathered along Philcoa Avenue for their protest.
Mass gatherings have been banned in light of the coronavirus pandemic; however, the Quezon City government has allowed protest activities to a “limited extent.”
Protesters will not be allowed to hold activities along Commonwealth Avenue, otherwise they will be arrested by police authorities, Metro Manila police chief Debold Sinas has said.
Activist group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), which is one of the groups expected to join the protest, earlier assured the public that they would be following health protocols to avoid coronavirus transmissions.
Protesters were required to maintain physical distancing and wear protective equipment like face masks.
It has been the tradition that protest actions during the SONA are held along Commonwealth Avenue near Batasang Pambansa Complex, where the President will deliver his speech.
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