Pro-Duterte groups: No competition with anti-administration protesters
The pro-administration rally at the Plaza Miranda on Thursday was not meant to compete with the anti-government demonstration in Luneta, but simply to show support to the Duterte government.
In an interview with INQUIRER.net, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Director Benny Antiporda, one of the organizers of the pro-Duterte rally at Plaza Miranda, said, “This is not a group that’s made to compete with the other group. This is to tell the people na ‘eto kami, kami yung nakararaming natutuwa hindi yung ilan na ngumangawa.”
(This is not a group that’s made to compete with the other group. This is to tell the people that ‘here we are, we are the majority who’s happy with the government and not those few who are just griping’.)
Anti-government protesters had set a nationwide rally to denounce alleged human rights violations under the Duterte administration in commemoration of the 45th anniversary of the declaration of martial law. Former President Ferdinand Marcos had placed the entire archipelago under martial rule in 1972.
According to Antiporda, he initiated the rally with the help of Alvin Feliciano, Deputy Director General of the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority; and Abdulrashid Ladayo, of the Office of the Cabinet Secretary and Partido Demokratiko Pilipinas-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).
“On my own initiative ito. Walang pera ng gobyerno dito. I just cannot take this sitting down; it’s about time na makita ng tao na mahal natin ang bayan natin,” Antiporda said.
(This is my own initiative. There’s no government money here. I just cannot take this sitting down; it’s about time that people see that we love our country.)
Antiporda explained that while the government did not spend a single cent for the rally, it was pledges from organizations supporting Duterte, which include PDP-Laban, Kilusang Pagbabago, and Friends of Rody Duterte (FRRD), that made the rally possible.
“Personal ng mga tao ‘to, walang gobyerno ‘to,” he insisted, adding that he spent his own money for the payment of the stage that was complete with lights and sound system.
(This is a private spending, no government money involved.)
Sta. Ana Police Station Commander Supt. Arnold Ibay said the crowd was expected to fill Plaza Miranda, which can accommodate up to 5,000 people.
Police estimated that the crowd reached 3, 500 as of Thursday afternoon.
The pro-Duterte groups came from different cities in Metro Manila, as well as provinces such as Bulacan, Bataan, and Olongapo. /kga
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