Protesters disrupt Duterte’s Independence Day speech in Cavite
KAWIT, Cavite – Protesters briefly disrupted the Independence Day program here as President Rodrigo Duterte was about to start his speech.
Ten members of the militant group Bayan Southern Tagalog shouted “Hunyo a-dose, Huwad na kalayaan, Duterte, traydor Duterte, patalsikin.”
Police immediately nabbed the protesters.
The President told the police “to just deal with them peacefully and with maximum tolerance.”
“Hayaan mo lang. It’s freedom of speech. You can have it. I will understand,” he said.
Duterte, who was about to start his speech, said what the protesters did was part of “freedom of speech.”
“Our Constitution guarantees freedom of the press, freedom of assembly and free expression,” he said.
“We cannot agree at all times for all seasons,” he added. “We may not understand each other, at least there is a common denominator between us, and that is love for our country. Nobody can ever question ang pagmamahal ko sa bayan.”
Duterte’s attendance at the Independence Day rites here was his first time to lead the celebration as President after he skipped last year’s rites at the Rizal Park in Manila.
Before he started his speech, Duterte apologized for being late due to the bad weather.
“This is my first time to be with you. Maraming salamat. It’s a great honor,” he said. /muf
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