No interference in Maisug rally, Tacloban venue already booked

Solon: No interference in Maisug rally, Tacloban venue already booked

/ 11:18 PM May 27, 2024

Solon: No interference in Maisug rally, Tacloban venue already booked

Rep. Jude Avorque Acidre (left) and former President Rodrigo Duterte—PHOTOS FROM FACEBOOK/INQUIRER/GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

MANILA, Philippines — A lawmaker has countered claims from former president Rodrigo Duterte and his supporters that the government is deliberately trying to stop the holding of a Maisug rally in Tacloban City, saying that there were other events who reserved the venue first.

Tingog party-list Rep. Jude Acidre in a radio interview on Monday explained that due to Duterte’s open letter—wherein the former leader claimed that movement into Tacloban City was interrupted due to the administration’s policy of stifling dissent—they checked the different issues mentioned.


READ: Duterte slams ‘deliberate’ efforts to stop ‘Maisug’ rally in Tacloban


Tacloban is the bailiwick of Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez’ family—where the maternal side of Romualdez’s cousin, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., originates.

But aside from Typhoon Aghon which moved near the eastern portion of the country, Acidre said that the Maisug rally did not push through because the trucks that Duterte supporters claimed were parked at the Remedios Trinidad Romualdez (RTR) Plaza were actually part of a roadshow for heavy equipment machinery.

The roadshow, the lawmaker said, asked for a permit as early as May 10. Those organizing the Maisug rally meanwhile did not ask for a permit—only a notice that they will be using the freedom park.

READ: Too early for politics? Solons question prayer rallies attended by Duterte

Did not apply for a permit

“First of all, the issue with the venue, we were able to unearth that—because we checked on the former president’s claims in the open letter which stated that they were not allowed to stage a rally. But the information we got is that they did not apply for a permit,” Acidre, whose Tingog party-list is based in  told radio network DZRH.

“Their letter to the provincial government which manages the freedom park is that they are only giving a notice—they said that ‘we’re notifying’ that they will use the freedom park,” he added.


Acidre also downplayed Duterte and his supporters’ claim that the airport tickets were bought so that people cannot attend the Maisug rally.

“With the airport, we are clarifying that as early as April we’re having a difficult time with tickets,” Acidre said.

“I think no one has the capacity to buy all the tickets just to stop people from visiting an area,” he added.

Duterte on Sunday released an open letter saying that he believes there was really a deliberate intent to stop the Maisug rally, even without Typhoon Aghon.

“I am writing this open letter to the people of Tacloban in light of recent events that have caused inconvenience, discomfort and disruption in their lives,” the former president said.

“All these places and activities have one thing in common: the Maisug Rally scheduled on May 25, 2024. As part of the Marcos administration’s policy of stifling peaceful dissent, they are doing everything to prevent this rally from happening,” he added.

No prayer rally

Acidre said deciding to allow the use of the RTR eventually for the Maisug rally will be up to the provincial government, but he also noted that the rallies—which have been dubbed as prayer rallies—have not been about prayers at all.

“That is the right of Filipinos, of our people to air their sentiments or their advocacies […] but of course, as we said, there are rules that we have to follow,” he said.

“But for us, we hold our former president Rody Duterte in high regard, I hope his allies and followers do not use this rally as a platform to degrade the dignity of our respected leaders.  We saw it in the other Maisug rallies eh, sometimes there are more curses used than… I have not heard any prayer,” he added.

This is not the first time that the intent of the prayer rallies were questioned by lawmakers. Last March, La Union Rep. Paolo Ortega said he does not understand the concept of a prayer rally turning into a different kind of event, as the former president has constantly used them to attack the administration.

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Aklan Rep. Teodorico Haresco meanwhile urged personalities in the rally to refrain from using God’s name in setting up prayer rallies in the guise of personal or political objectives.

TAGS: Jude Acidre, Rodrigo Duterte, Tacloban

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