‘No violence’: In rally, Duterte alludes to ’86 storming of Palace

‘No violence’: In rally, Duterte alludes to ’86 storming of Palace

rally held at LiwasangBonifacio by supporters of embattled televangelist Apollo Quiboloy

FROM DAVAO TO MANILA Tuesday’s rally held at Liwasang Bonifacio by supporters of embattled televangelist Apollo Quiboloy on Tuesday night. —PHOTO BY GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

Former President Rodrigo Duterte cautioned some 2,000 followers of embattled televangelist Apollo Quiboloy against using violence to overthrow the government, even as he railed against perceived attempts to keep President Marcos in power through Charter change.

Addressing crowds gathered on the final day of a weeklong “prayer rally” at Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila on Tuesday, Duterte urged Quiboloy’s supporters to keep their mass actions peaceful lest they reach a “critical point.”


“If we hold our demonstrations, let us not go to the seat of government power because we have national treasures there,” he said on stage.


READ: VP Sara attends pro-Quiboloy rally, slams those ‘oppressing’ SMNI

“During the time of [the older] Marcos, many of those got broken. All treasures there are the country’s treasures,” he said, alluding to the storming of Malacañang by an angry mob at the climax of the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution that ended the regime of the President’s father.

Duterte also took another swipe at his successor, saying all Mr. Marcos had done since assuming office was “go on traveling.”

The President was currently visiting Germany and would later proceed to the Czech Republic. Duterte’s daughter, Vice President Sara Duterte, serves as the government caretaker while Mr. Marcos is abroad.

The younger Duterte joined her father at Tuesday’s rally. She did not address the crowd but she granted an interview with Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI), the media arm of Quiboloy’s sect Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC).

Former President RodrigoDuterte taking a fresh swipe at President Marcos, particularly about the latter’s foreign trips.

Former President Rodrigo Duterte taking a fresh swipe at President Marcos, particularly about the latter’s foreign trips. —PHOTO BY GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

‘A politician’s journey’

“Let us also pray for truth and justice for all and equal treatment from the government to every Filipino,” Sara said in the interview. “Every concern can be discussed in a diplomatic manner.”


“I am glad that the supporters of Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, the members of KOJC and all SMNI personnel are holding this rally to express themselves and [exercise] their freedom of speech and religion,” Sara added.

Asked about supporters who hoped to see her step in as the next president, Sara replied: “As I always say, politics is like life, you will never know what’s going to happen the next day and what we can only do is pray to God for our country, for truth and for justice.”

Sara also touched on what she called the “black propaganda” being waged against her.

“I grew up in politics and I know that black propaganda is part of a politician’s journey,” she said. “It seems that these people have a script and they want to make it appear that Inday Sara is corrupt, abusive, a treacherous warlord murderer.”

She was later seen posing for photos with ralliers carrying placards that read: “Protect Inday Sara.”

Tuesday’s rally was the closing night of a weeklong mobilization by followers of Quiboloy, who currently faces Senate and House inquiries over alleged human trafficking and sexual abuses in his sect, and over SMNI’s alleged violation of its broadcasting franchise.

Protesters’ demands

Among the demands made by the protesters during the program were the protection of Duterte’s son, Davao City Mayor Sebastian Duterte; the ouster of Mr. Marcos over alleged links to drugs (a claim made by Duterte in an earlier speech in Davao), and the removal of Sen. Risa Hontiveros, a vocal Quiboloy critic, from the Senate.

At its peak around 9 p.m., the rally had some 2,000 people in attendance, according to the Manila Police District.

Its organizers need not secure a rally permit since Liwasang Bonifacio is a “freedom park,” according to city public information officer Princess Abante.

Among the public figures seen at the event were pro-Duterte vloggers and his political allies, like former presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, former chief legal counsel Salvador Panelo and former Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.

Senators Christopher Go, Ronald dela Rosa and Robinhood Padilla were also present.

Veiled threat

“The day will come when the people who installed you will be the ones to remove you,” Panelo said in his remarks on stage without elaborating.

Alvarez said: “We will continue on praying that you will do the supreme sacrifice from your position. Please, we are asking of you. Please! Save the country from an impending war against China.”

Also in his speech, Duterte said current deliberations in Congress to amend the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution were merely a ploy.

“What they really want to change in the Constitution is for Marcos to prolong his term, just like what his father did,” he said, adding:

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“This is all just an excuse to open up the Constitution. It has been the excuse of the older Marcos and now the excuse of the Marcos son. That has been their target.”

TAGS: Apollo Quiboloy, rally, Rodrigo Duterte, SMNI

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