Moreno orders Manila to enforce 'no permit, no rally' rule

Franco Luna - Philstar.com
Moreno orders Manila to enforce 'no permit, no rally' rule
Ong-Moreno tandem caps off their 90-day campaign with a packed Moriones Linear Park in Tondo, Manila for their miting de avance held Saturday, May 7, 2022.
Philstar.com / Kaycee Valmonte

MANILA, Philippines — Manila City Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso has issued a memorandum urging barangay captains and police commanders in the capital city to "strictly enforce" a Marcos-era law prohibiting public assembly without a permit.

Under Batas Pambansa Bilang 880, demonstrators may only gather without permits at government-designated freedom parks. In Manila, those are Plaza Miranda, Plaza Dilao, Plaza Moriones and Liwasang Bonifacio.

This comes a day after protesters gathered outside the office of the Commission on Elections in Intramuros to question the integrity of the 2022 elections after widespread glitches caused massive delays for thousands of voters. 

BP 880 has historically been employed by state forces to suppress otherwise peaceful demonstrations and in effect curtail the constitutional right to freedom of assembly. Section 4 of the Bill of Rights in the 1987 Constitution recognizes "the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances."

In his memorandum, Manila's mayor said: "The Bureau of Permits is directed to act promptly and expeditiously on applications for permit."

This marks the latest in Moreno's change of tune towards election frontrunner Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the son of the late ousted dictator, whom he had accused, alongside the "Yellows" of the Liberal Party of dominating Philippine politics since the 1986 ouster of Marcos Jr.'s father. 

Moreno's party Aksyon Demokratiko, during the camoaign, raised the issue of the estate taxes that the Marcos family owes the government.

In his concession message, Moreno urged his supporters to back Marcos' administration as he called for unity.

"The next administration won't be successful if the resentment and bad blood continue... We need to unite and stand behind the next chosen one by the people," he said in Filipino in a livestreamed press briefing on his Facebook page where he congratulated his electoral counterparts. 

The abuses and excesses of the Marcos dictatorship are a historical fact and a government Human Rights Victims Claims Board has issued reparations to victims of documented rights abuses.

"Let's recognize each Filipino's right to choose a leader. Let's support the government and follow it's laws and programs because this is our country," Moreno said in his concession message as he urged his supporters not to get involved in any disorder.

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