Some 20,000 protesters
expected at SONA — police


THE Quezon City Police District (QCPD) is expecting more than 20,000 protesters for President Rodrigo Duterte’s second State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, an official said on Sunday.

Chief Supt. Guillermo Eleazar, QCPD chief, said the protesters would be allowed to stay 200 meters away from the south gate of the House of Representatives. It will be the entrance of the President, Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo, Cabinet members, lawmakers and other invited guests.

The city’s police chief said he was expecting the protest for this year’s SONA to be peaceful and orderly.

Of the expected number, from 10,000 to 15,000 will be coming from the militant and opposition groups. The same number of Pro-Duterte” supporters will be holding a rally at the Litex area along Commonwealth Avenue.

A skeleton police force has been deployed near the area of Sandiganbayan and Ever Gotesco along Commonwealth.

Eleazar also said the Batasang Pambansa would be a “no fly zone” area.

Metro Manila Police Chief Oscar Albayalde said on the request of Philippine National Polce Chief Ronald de la Rosa, his men would be constrained not to use their batons and shields against protesters in the exercise of maximum tolerance but added that they would be forced to use them only “if they would become unruly”.

He said the QCPD would be on full-alert status for the SONA. DEMPSEY REYES



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