MANILA -- Malacanang called on the public to focus on praying and taking concrete actions to resolve the country’s problems amid planned protests against the administration.
In an interview with radio dzRB, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said it is best that concrete actions are laid down instead of protesting and going to the streets.
He dismissed, however, that these protests scheduled in the coming week reflect the sentiment of the entire population.
"Batay naman po sa lahat ng pag-aaral o opinion surveys ay napakataas po ng bilang ng mga mamamayang sumusuporta at nagtitiwala sa ating Pangulo,” he said.
Amid the criticisms President Benigno Aquino III and his government received because of the perceived lack or slow action in the Yolanda relief, he still managed to get an approval rating of 73% and trust rating of 74% based on a Pulse Asia survey.
There was a drop of 6 and 2 percentage points, respectively, for approval and trust but Pulse made a disclaimer that the movements “fall short of being considered significant in light of the survey’s overall error margin of +/- 3 percentage points.
The Kilusang Mayo Uno and Anakbayan announced that there will be a “Blackout Protest” on January 21, primarily against the power rate hike of the Manila Electric Co. but also on the supposed inaction on the part of Aquino.
Anonymous Philippines have also allegedly set a protest action for January 25. The group is known for hacking government websites and disclosing the numbers of Aquino.
“Dapat po siguro habang tayo ay nananawagan at nananalangin, ang maging pokus po ng lahat ng Pilipino ay kung ano po ang dapat gawin para lalo pong lumakas at tumatag ang republika para…pwedeng magkaisa ng layunin,” Coloma said.
Nonetheless, he said Malacanang is open to listening to the problems of Filipinos.
Malacanang has scheduled a national day of prayer on Monday, starting at 5 p.m.
Coloma said this has nothing to do with the political action in 2001 that led to then-President Joseph Estrada stepping down from office.
Estrada made headlines recently when he went to the Veterans Memorial Medical Center to check on the condition of Arroyo, who is also now being tried for plunder. Rumors started swirling after, with pundits saying an alliance is being formed against Aquino.
“Edsa 2 was not marked in our history books. It is clear that the date of the national day of prayer is just coincidental,” Coloma said.