MALACAÑANG will not stop marches to honor the 44 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos killed by Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) fighters and members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, Palace spokesperson Abigail Valte said on Saturday.
However, she warned organizers of the event to ensure that their group will not be infiltrated by “opportunists” who may take advantage of the event.
She issued the warning following the decision of the Quezon City Police District to withdraw its recommendation granting a permit for the holding of the March for Justice for the SAF 44 today because of the sudden inclusion of militant groups.
Elmo San Diego, the head of Quezon City’s Department of Public Order and Safety, was quoted as saying that the march from Dasmariñas City to Camp Crame will push through even if a permit was not issued.
But Valte said the Palace had nothing to do with the refusal of the QCPD to issue a rally permit.
“Remember that in any rally or demonstration, at least under the Aquino administration, we have never intervened, or we have never stepped in to ask them not to proceed,” she pointed out.
“We recognize that these rallies are part of the democratic space that we share,” Valte added.
However, Valte warned well-meaning participants of the unity walk to be vigilant against opportunists who will try to join them for ulterior motives.
“What we are aware of is that there is a unity walk for the 44 SAF members. Of course, there will be people who would want to join. Of course, there have been various calls from different groups so let us be wary,” she said in a radio interview.
“Let us be wary of groups that might be taking advantage of the situation for their personal motives, and not really to join the SAF families in grieving and seeking justice,” Valte added.