Progressives assail decision to deny to SONA rally as ‘violation of law and rights’

Photo by Carlo Manalansan/Bulatlat

“With its scare-tactics, the PNP is only succeeding in showing the world that it is a notorious human rights violator. It affirms why the US Congress voted to deny aid for the PNP because of its terrible human rights record. Let the world see the brutality and intolerance of the PNP under a second Marcos regime.”

By JOSH AVENGOZA
Bulatlat.com

MANILA — Bagong Alyansang Makabayan assailed the Quezon City’s Department of Public Order and Safety (DPOS) decision to deny their application to hold protest action in Batasan Road in time for Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s first State of the Nation Address.

According to the QC-DPOS, Batasan Road is not a freedom park and the rally will affect the flow of traffic.

However, in a statement, Bayan said this is “gross ignorance of the law and sheer laziness,” adding that it only copy-pasted an earlier order from the local police denying the issuance of the permit rally.

“The DPOS did not exercise its own judgment and independent evaluation of the facts. It did not exercise independence and autonomy as a local government unit,” Bayan said.

Batas Pambansa 880 or the Public Assembly Act of 1985, states that a permit is granted “unless there is clear and convincing evidence that the public assembly will create a clear and present danger to public order, public safety, public convenience, public morals or public health.”

Bayan argued that the reason for causing traffic is not a danger to public safety and that the government should make necessary adjustments to mitigate such.

During Marcos Jr.’s inaugural address, the Philippine National Police discouraged the public to hold protest actions unless it is held far from the National Museum of Fine Arts, where he was sworn in as President.

The police force also said that protesters should hold their actions online, that Bayan dismissed as it is “hypocritical and stupid,” citing their online presence is also blocked by the government.

Farmers group Kilusan ng Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) also criticized the decision.

“What are they so afraid of? We will only bring our demands and placards on SONA. We will propose pro-people fiscal, strategic and long-term policies that can alleviate the dire state of the economy and the people’s livelihood,” Rafael Mariano said in a press release

Mariano also stressed the importance of letting Marcos Jr. know the real state of the people as they also give the new administration a chance to address these concerns raised by various sectors.

Despite the denial of permit, Bayan said they will continue the protest action and is ready to take legal action should protesters be harmed or arrested that day.

“With its scare-tactics, the PNP is only succeeding in showing the world that it is a notorious human rights violator. It affirms why the US Congress voted to deny aid for the PNP because of its terrible human rights record. Let the world see the brutality and intolerance of the PNP under a second Marcos regime,” Bayan said. (JJE, RVO) (https://www.bulatlat.org)

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