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Sona 2015 protest ‘peaceful,’ but 35 injured

/ 06:37 PM July 27, 2015

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Video by Noy Morcoso/INQUIRER.net

At least 35 persons–eight cops and 27 civilians–were injured amid the protest actions outside Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City where President Benigno Aquino III delivered his final State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Monday.

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Bagong Alyansang Makabayan secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. said an estimate of 20,000 protesters from various sectors marched along Commonwealth Avenue.

Police, however, gave a lower turnout of less than 5,000.

Despite the reported injuries at the height of tension that erupted in the rally, Quezon City Police District director Chief Superintendent Joel Pagdilao, in an interview with reporters, said mass demonstrations were “peaceful compared with the mass actions in the previous Sonas.”

Pagdilao attributed this to the police’s exercise of restraint and maximum tolerance in dealing with “unruly protesters.”

Included in the 35 injured persons were two rallyists who suffered possible fracture, and another one who sustained an eye injury and is currently being treated at a nearby hospital’s emergency room.

READ: Militant in Sona rally ‘hit’ with police protective gear

Also, among the casualties were the two intelligence policemen who had allegedly tried to spy on the militants hours before the Sona.

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READ: Human right advocates maul, detain 2 undercover lawmen

Pagdilao said charges of direct assault and robbery will be filed because the militants reportedly took the cellphones of the lawmen and violation of Batas Pambansa 880.

As of posting, protesters are still holding a program along Ever Gotesco Mall – Commonwealth Avenue. As the President delivered his final Sona, they burned an effigy of Aquino on board a damaged Metro Rail Transit train.IDL

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TAGS: Benigno Aquino III, casualties, Injuries, Joel Pagdilao, Sona, Sona protest
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