Daily Tribune (Philippines)

SoNA security airtight

- By Alvin Murcia

The police and various militant organizati­ons have agreed to work together to ensure that mass actions during the fourth State of the Nation Address (SoNA) of President Rodrigo Duterte on 22 July would be peaceful.

Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief, told Daily Tribune that he has already met with leaders of groups intending to mass up close to the Batasang Pambansa complex.

The President will deliver his SoNA before the joint session of Congress at the House of Representa­tives in Quezon City. The past three SoNA of Duterte had been peaceful with the third being with zero incidents.

Eleazar said rallies may be held along Commonweal­th Avenue up to St. Peter Parish “for as long as these are held peacefully.”

The NCRPO chief said that, as in the past, authoritie­s have allowed rally organizers to identify where they want to stage their actions, but that the police have set guidelines which the protesters must strictly follow.

Nothing being left to chance.

“We accommodat­e them but if they break the guidelines, we have the police power to act. Our point is we want to show the public that everything will be okay as long as they abide by what we agreed upon,” Eleazar said.

If the protesters are caught violating any of the rules set during their dialogue, the police would not hesitate to use force, especially if they become unruly, he said.

Still, the police will exercise maximum tolerance with leaders of the protesters expected to police their own ranks to ensure a peaceful and orderly SoNA.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines