MANILA- Protesters need not secure permits to stage activities against the burial of late dictator and former president Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, Malacañang said Thursday.
Communications Assistant Secretary Ana Marie Banaag said President Rodrigo Duterte respects the protesters' rights and instructed law enforcers to exercise maximum tolerance.
"The instruction of the President is very clear, that he respects the right of citizens to protest against the Marcos burial. The protesters don't need to secure rally permits in fear of being evicted and the President emphasized he may not agree [with] the opinions of the protesters and he may not agree [with] what they say but he will protect their right to say it and that is how he expressed our democracy," Banaag said.
Banaag hopes the protests would not become calls to oust the President.
"We hope not, we pray not because the President has given all protesters much leeway. No permits na nga. They can air, they can ventilate their grievances. They can say whatever they want. It maybe not be something that would be favorable for the President, it may be something that is against what the President wants, but the President has given them freedom to do so. And unlimited yan, if they want perhaps to stay there for a week, then so be it," she said.
A massive protest action is being planned on Friday at the Rizal Park, a week after the clandestine burial of the late dictator at the heroes cemetery.