'Corresponding response' await Marcos inauguration protesters if they leave freedom parks: PNP

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 29 2022 04:15 PM | Updated as of Jun 29 2022 04:33 PM

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MANILA — The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday said a "corresponding police response" await protesters during the inauguration of President-elect Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. if they conduct their activities outside freedom parks.

M/Gen. Valeriano de Leon, PNP's director for operations, said rallyists can only stay inside four designated freedom parks in Manila City, namely: Liwasang Bonifacio, Plaza Miranda, Plaza Moriones, and Plaza Dilaw. 

"Yung 4 na lugar na 'yan ay puwede silang magsagawa ng rally nila diyan at kahit anong gawin nila. But the moment they will step out of the area ay corresponding police response ang ating itutugon para dito," said De Leon in a televised briefing.

(They can hold their rallies in those 4 areas mentioned and they can do whatever they want. But there will be a corresponding police response the moment they will step out of those areas.)

"Alam naman natin na the world will be watching us. And we would like to showcase how orderly and how disciplined Filipinos are dito sa ating bansa," he added. 

(We all know the world is watching us. And we would like to showcase how orderly and how disciplined Filipinos are.) 

The police official noted that the local government of Manila has so far not issued any permits to groups planning to mount protests around the National Museum, the venue for Marcos' oath-taking on Thursday.

He said the police response would be geared towards implementing rules and safety protocols during that day, given that rallyists may disrupt traffic in the vast network of rerouting schemes.

"Yung mga lugar na yan (freedom parks) ay puwede silang maghayag ng issues and concerns. But the moment they step out of the area as a group, they will be prevented," De Leon said. 

(They can express their issues and concerns in these areas.)

"Hindi natin hahayaan na magsagawa ng magulo o not peaceful assembly sa labas ng freedom park," he added.

(We will not let them create chaos or disrupt the event outside the freedom park.)

The personnel from the Presidential Security Group (PSG) has been increased to over 9,000 from the initial 6,768 to secure the surroundings of the inauguration venue, he said. 

Officials from the PSG, PNP, and National Telecommunications Commission have yet to finalize whether or not to disrupt signals in the area for added security on Thursday.