Will PNP allow rallyists near Marcos inauguration? Danao says only if they’re shouting ‘mabuhay’
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) will allow rallies near President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s inauguration site if they would support the new administration, the acting police chief said on Monday.
During the press briefing at Camp Crame, Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. was asked about PNP’s preparations, considering that the inauguration, which will be held at the National Museum grounds along Padre Burgos Avenue in Manila on June 30, will be near the usual rally points.
Danao said that he would even bring rally attendees near the inauguration site if they will be shouting “Mabuhay.”
“Well, kung ang isisigaw mo naman eh ‘Mabuhay si Bongbong Marcos,’ eh ‘di ilalapit pa kita siguro, wala tayong problema ‘ron. So sa mga nagra-rally at sinisigaw niyo na ‘mabuhay ang bagong presidente’ eh ‘di okay, magsama-sama tayo d’yan,” Danao told reporters. “Basta ang isisigaw mo nga eh ‘Mabuhay’ ‘yong bagong presidente, wala namang problema.”
(Well, if you will shout ‘Long Live Bongbong Marcos,’ maybe I’d even bring you near the venue, we’ll have no problem with that. So for those who would start rallies and who would shout ‘long live the new president’, then okay, we would be together on that. If you’d chant, ‘Long live the new president’, then that’s not a problem.)
According to Danao, while freedom of expression is a right of many people, problems may occur if people will try to pull down the government and its leaders.
“Eh sabi ko nga, we all have the freedom of expression, tama ‘yan, pero but it is for the government wala po tayong problema d’yan,” the PNP officer-in-charge said.
(As I have said, we all have the freedom of expression, that’s correct, but if it is in support of the government then we have no problem.)
“But if you are pulling down the government, especially those who (are) leading it eh talagang medyo ano ‘yan, although we have that right of expression, tama po ‘yan, pero we have also to respect, kasi baka masira naman po ‘yong ating ano (inauguration), ‘di ba?” he asked.
(But if you are pulling down the government, especially those who are leading it, we would have a problem because although we have that right of expression, that’s correct, but we also have to respect others because we might disrupt the inauguration, right?)
Protests against the President-elect have been a big issue between the PNP and activists, as activist groups claimed that the police have been using excessive force in dispersing rallies, from the protests after the election and proclamation of winners.
However, PNP maintained that it was just doing its job, with Danao saying that rallyists stomped the riot shields of the Civil Disturbance Management (CDM) units securing Commonwealth Avenue last May 25.
‘Bring a large mirror’
Danao said that they want to allow Marcos’ inauguration to go on smoothly, just like they have allowed protesters to stage programs. However, he took a shot at protesters’ supposed tendency to be overly critical of the government, urging them to bring a mirror every time they would participate in rallies.
“Eh kayo nga kapag nagsasalita kayo kung saan-saan nire-respeto nga natin eh, tapos ‘pag ko-caution-an ka’yo sasabihin niyo na naman, in the guise of human rights. Puro na lang tayo human rights, how about ‘yong human wrong na ginagawa ninyo? Okay?” Danao said.
(Every time you hold a program, we try to respect your statements but when we try to caution you, you would always say things in the guise of human rights. We have been so accustomed to human rights, how about the ‘human wrongs’ you are doing?)
“Human rights tayo nang human rights pero ‘yong human wrong na ginagawa ninyo hindi niyo tinitignan, everytime mag-rally kayo magdala kayo ng napakalaking salamin and look at yourselves there kung ano ‘yong sinisigaw-sigaw ninyo d’yan,” he added.
(We always say human rights but the wrong things that you do, you do not look at them every time you stage rallies, so I suggest you bring mirrors and look at yourselves if what you’re shouting about is right.)
Last June 6, PNP Director for Operations Maj. Gen. Valeriano de Leon said they would not allow illegal rallyists — or those without permits — to stage protests near the Marcos inauguration site.
However, activist group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan claimed that there is no such thing as an ‘illegal rallyist’, according to the 1987 Constitution and Batas Pambansa Blg. 880 which allows peaceful protests.
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