SONA protesters urged: Listen to Marcos’ plans

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MANILA — The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Sunday urged protesters not to conduct rallies during the first State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Marcos and instead, listen to his plans for the country.

PNP director for operations Maj. Gen. Valeriano de Leon urged anti-Marcos protesters to listen to the speech of the President to know his plans for the next six years.

“It will be better for the people to just listen to what President Marcos will say during the SONA because this is where he will outline his programs,” De Leon said. “So hopefully, people will not hold rallies anymore.”

However, De Leon said protesters are still allowed to hold rallies in designated freedom parks.

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan secretary general Renato Reyes criticized De Leon’s assertion.

“The SONA has been an annual occasion for the people to air their grievances and press government to act on pressing matters. General De Leon displays a narrow understanding of how democracy should work. All have the right to be heard, including critics of Marcos,” Reyes said in a statement.

“Those who disagree with Marcos and are opposed to his policies have the right to protest against the government,” he added.

Among the reasons for the people to hold protests, Reyes said, are the increasing cost of fuel and basic commodities, low wages, job losses, crushing debt, deteriorating agriculture, human rights violations and corruption.

The PNP is ready for Marcos’ SONA on July 25, De Leon said.

He stated that police have not received any threats so far.

House committees to hold hearings during break

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Spread the loveMANILA – The House of Representatives has authorized for its committees to conduct hearings during the five-week congressional break, extending until late April.