Duterte’s appearance at Sona rally a security nightmare – PNP

When President Rodrigo Duterte faced jeering left-wing protesters after his second State of the Nation Address on Monday night, it was a “security nightmare” for personnel guarding the headstrong Chief Executive, Quezon City police director Chief Supt. Guillermo Eleazar admitted on Monday.

“Kita niyo security nightmare yan when the President planned to be there, di ba to talk to them? Gusto niyang makausap sila so sinong Presidente gagawa nyan, na ginawa na yan,” he told reporters after Duterte’s face off with demonstrators.

READ: Duterte faces protesters after Sona, demands mutual respect

The President spoke to the thousands of protesters for about 10 minutes.

But despite the surprise visit, it was a “peaceful Sona,” according to Eleazar, the overall ground commander for the activity.

About 16,500 rallyists participated in the event — 10,500 anti-Duterte and 6,000 pro-Duterte.

“It’s very peaceful in a sense that there was no confrontation, no one was arrested,” Eleazar said.

President Rodrigo Duterte talks to the protesters outside the House of Representatives after his second State of the Nation Address. Photo by Jhoanna Ballaran

He also stressed that this year’s Sona was different from previous years.

“Policemen were required to have shields pero as you can see, wala. Walang barbed wire at container van,” Eleazar said.

Protesters were also closest to the Sona venue unlike in the past with the main stage located 200 meters from the south gate of Batasan complex,” he said./ac