Rallies by anti, pro-admin groups peaceful – PNP

Michael Punongbayan, Emmanuel Tupas - The Philippine Star
Rallies by anti, pro-admin groups peaceful � PNP
Protesters burn an effigy of a coin with an image of President Marcos hours before the State of the Nation Address yesterday.
Walter Bollozos

MANILA, Philippines — Rallies by militant groups and supporters of President Marcos on the day of his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) yesterday ended relatively peaceful, according to the Philippine National Police (PNP).

PNP chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr. said there was no untoward incident from pro- and anti-administration mass actions. “We did not monitor any untoward incident and there are no monitored serious threats,” Acorda told reporters.

Around 3,500 members from different militant groups led by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) marched toward the corner of Tandang Sora and Commonwealth Avenues where they held their program dubbed the People’s SONA, the PNP said.

Quezon City Police District spokesperson Capt. Johanna Lavarias said there were about 6,000 anti-government protesters at the corner of Tandang Sora and Commonwealth.

About 6,000 Marcos supporters held their own program at Commonwealth Avenue near the Commission on Audit.

People’s SONA

Protesters marched along Commonwealth Avenue toward Tandang Sora for a “People’s SONA.”

Leody de Guzman, who ran for president in the 2022 elections, told The STAR that he does not expect President Marcos to address the “real state of the people” in the SONA.

“Marcos will surely lie about the true condition of the people and what he will say is the condition of the rich, the businessmen, the construction firms, so they will always be applauded there,” De Guzman said in Filipino.

He claimed that within the first year of the Marcos administration, there were no changes in terms of programs, policies and laws implemented.

He also questioned the “export-dependent and import-oriented” policy of the administration.

Former representative Sarah Elago of Kabataan said the party-list has been calling for government to raise wages and provide more jobs.

‘Fake news’

Promises made in the second SONA won’t get a positive impression from workers anymore as labor groups felt Marcos failed to undertake significant measures that could improve their condition a year since he assumed the presidency.

“Many administrations have failed workers in many aspects, thus, to be promised another ‘Bagong Pilipinas’ under the same conditions surely won’t get positive impressions from the working class,” the Nagkaisa labor coalition said.

According to Nagkaisa, workers think the President’s “Bagong Pilipinas” narrative is “fake news.” They said “Bigong Pilipinas” remains the appropriate representation of the true state of the nation.

Militant labor group Partido Manggagawa (PM) said only the government logo has changed while all the social problems remain unresolved and still without any clear solutions under the Marcos administration. — Mayen Jaymalin, Daphne Galvez, Elizabeth Marcelo, Ghio Ong, Rhodina Villanueva, Mark Ernest Villeza

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