MANILA – Members of progressive groups who held protest rallies along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City voluntarily dispersed ahead of President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.'s first State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday.
Speaking to reporters, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief, Maj. Gen. Felipe Natividad said the rallyists' permit to hold protest actions in the area lapsed at noon.
“Yung permit nila until 12 noon pero of course, kasi after that if they will exceed a little over, mag-aayos at magliligpit din sila (Their permit is only until 12 noon but of course, we may allow them 30 minutes to one hour more because they still have to clean up.) But if they will stay there definitely we will remind them and tell them to go home,” Natividad said.
As of 2 p.m. Natividad said no untoward incidents have so far been reported.
“Lahat naman actually ng mga rallyists (All rallyists) have been cooperative. Hindi na natin sila pahihintulutan (We will not allow them) in Tandang Sora that is around mga 500 to 700 meters away from Batasang Pambansa,” he added.
Members of militant groups Bayan, Karapatan, Anakbayan, and Alliance of Health Workers among others marched along Commonwealth Avenue after gathering at the University of the Philippines-Diliman early Monday in preparation for their activities for Marcos' first SONA.
Meanwhile, the NCRPO said groups from southern Luzon gathered as early as 5:30 a.m. along Elliptical Road before proceeding toward Philcoa.
They later converged with protesters coming from UP Diliman toward Commonwealth Avenue.
"We had a crowd of around 3,000 protesters," Natividad said.
Meanwhile, 12 persons were arrested in violation of the gun ban in Metro Manila as part of security measures for the first SONA.
Based on Philippine National Police data, a total of seven firearms, four bladed weapons, and 57 pieces of ammunition were confiscated during the gun ban on July 22. It will run until Wednesday, July 27. (PNA)