PNP to SONA protest groups: Avoid mass gathering, do your protests online

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MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) yesterday urged several members of cause-oriented groups to avoid mass gathering during President Duterte’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 27 to lessen the spread of the coronavirus disease.

PNP Chief Gen. Archie Gamboa made the appeal to groups planning to conduct physical protest to avoid gatherings and just do the prostesting online. While protest are generally allowed during the president’s SONA, He reiterated that these are not ordinary times.

Gamboa hopes that everyone should cooperate not for their own good but also for the good of others. He urged protesters to do their protest online since mass gatherings are currently being prohibited.

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) secretary general Renato Reyes confirmed that they will still hold physical rally despite the threat of the virus. He encouraged his members to wear mask, and use disinfectant.

The police will also hold a dialogue with several groups to encourage them to cooperate and discourage physical protest actions.

The SONA event for this year will only be limited to a maximum of 50 people and those who will physically attend will all be subjected to COVID-19 rapid. 24 seats will be for the executive department while 13 seats will be reserved for the House of Representative and the remaining 12 seats for the Senate. 50 other personnel will be allowed inside the venue including security officers and staffs.

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