Presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. reminded the public against mass gatherings of more than 10 people, in accordance with social distance rules of minimum health standards during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.
KJ Rosales, file
June 12 ‘mañanita’ protest: Only 10 allowed
Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - June 10, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Groups opposing the Anti-Terrorism Act, which now awaits President Duterte’s signature, are planning protests they call “mañanita” to mark Independence Day on June 12.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. reminded the public against mass gatherings of more than 10 people, in accordance with social distance rules of minimum health standards during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

“I don’t know anything about this mañanita, but gatherings of 10 people or more is prohibited. That is all,” Roque said in Filipino, referring to the regulations imposed by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases in general community quarantine or GCQ areas.

The mañanita protest is named after the birthday feast for National Capital Region Police Office chief Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas. Despite the quarantine breach, he has kept his post.

Rody to remain in Davao

President Duterte will likely mark the occasion in Davao City where he has been staying for the past two weeks, Roque said yesterday.

“We’re checking because we were given permission by the IATF to hold the celebration at Luneta, but limited to 10 people only,” he said.

Media affairs relations office Undersecretary Feducia Mia Reyes-Lucas said no meeting is being called for Independence Day as of presstime.  

At a press briefing in Malacañang yesterday, Roque said the President will be holding another meeting with the IATF in Davao, where he is likely to announce what’s next for Metro Manila residents and other areas that remain under GCQ until June 15. Duterte will also reportedly come up with a recorded Independence Day message for the national celebration.

Last year, Duterte skipped the Independence Day rites in Manila when he opted to visit troops in Lanao del Sur. In 2018, Duterte was heckled at the Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite. He had also skipped the ceremonies in 2017.

SONA preparations

According to Roque, discussions are now ongoing as to how the President’s fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) will be held this time. In the past, he delivered the SONAs at the House of Representives attended by both congressmen and members of the Senate in a joint session.

Roque said this time it would be possible that a “blended” SONA be held.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III said there is a suggestion that Duterte deliver his next SONA at Malacañang on July 27. Edith Regalado

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