Palace tells protesters: Refrain from gathering, we care for your health
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Thursday appealed to protesters to refrain from gathering to prevent the possible spread of the coronavirus.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque issued the statement after some progressive groups marched to Mendiola, Manila on Wednesday to mark the National Day of Defiance.
“Alam niyo po ang karapatan ng malayang pananalita ay garantiyado po ng ating Saligang Batas. Gayunpaman, ang aking pakiusap lang po, panahon po ng COVID at kahit kayo po ay lumalaban at kalaban ng gobyerno, pinangangalagaan po namin ang inyong kalusugan,” Roque said in an online briefing.
(The freedom of expression is guaranteed by the Constitution. Nonetheless, we appeal that in a time of COVID, even though you defy the government, we want to take care of your health.)
“So ang pakiusap po, sundin natin hanggang sampung tao lang po ang pagtitipon tipon. Dahil po ayaw po namin kayo magkasakit. Maski kayo po ay walang ginawa kundi labanan ang gobyerno, Pilipino pa rin po kayo at may obligasyon pa rin kaming isalba kung kayo ay magkakasakit,” he added.
(So we request that let’s follow the policy of a 10-person limit in gatherings. We don’t want you to get sick. Although you have nothing to do but resist the government, you are still Filipinos and we have the obligation to save you if you get sick.)
The protesters called for justice for detained activist Reina Mae Nasino and her deceased daughter, River; the junking of the Anti-Terrorism Act, and the Rice Tariffication Law, and for the ouster of President Rodrigo Duterte.
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