Bayan: No effigy, no anti-gov't protest in Duterte's first SONA

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 21 2016 03:22 PM

Bayan Secretary General Renato Reyes. File Photo

MANILA - Progressive groups like the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) used to mount huge anti-administration rallies during the presidential State of the Nation Addresses (SONA) -- but not anymore.

Bayan Secretary General Renato Reyes on Thursday told reporters that for the first time, no effigies will be burnt and no anti-administration rally will be held on Monday during President Rodrigo Duterte's 1st SONA.

And while there will be a rally, it will only be a show of support, said Reyes.

"Hindi siya katulad ng mga nagdaang SONA na anti-administration, bumabatikos ng mariin sa Pangulo. Siyempre dito gusto natin i-highlight ano yung people's demands. May bahaging suporta dun sa mga patakaran na malinaw na ang stand ng Pangulo, support sa laban sa contractualization, support sa paglaban sa mapanirang mining companies, assertion ng sovereignty sa Pilipinas, lalong-lalo na support for the peace process," he said.

Reyes said they would still however take advantage of SONA as an avenue for their advocacies.

"Gusto natin magamit yung okasyon ng SONA para din ma-highlight kung anong totoong kalagayan ng mamamayan, ano yung mga issues at problemang kinakaharap. For the first time, may mga lalahok sa SONA rally na mula sa Mindanao, mga kababayan ng Pangulo.

Reyes added the show of support rally will still be huge.

"This would be a very big rally. Posibleng kasinglaki kundi man mas malaki dun sa nagdaang dalawang SONA ni Pangulong Aquino. Kaiba naman sa dalawang nagdaang SONA, mas hamon sa Pangulo at pagsuporta din sa pro-people na programa at inisyatiba," he added.

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REVERSAL OF ROLES?

Reyes said the no-protest style is not a reversal of roles for them. Instead, this is a manifestation of their friendly ties with the new president.

"Meron lang sigurong magaganap na konting adjustment dahil nga ang turing sa nakaupong pangulo ay hindi naman kaaway at meron ding mga kasamahan tayo na bahagi rin ng administrasyong Duterte," he explained.

The progressive movement in the country has several members in the Duterte Cabinet, led by Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, Anti-Poverty Commission head Liza Maza, Labor Undersecretary Joel Maglungsod and Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano.

Reyes said he is also hoping that security will not be as tight as in the past SONAs.

"Sana wala nang panghaharang, sana tanggalin na yung overkill na security measures. Tinanggal nila yung fashion show, siguro tanggalin na rin nila yung overkill security," he said.

He cited Duterte's all-high 91% trust rating, according to the latest Pulse Asia survey. "Bakit siya magtatago sa likuran ng sangkaterbang mga container van, barbed wire at libo-libong pulis? Eh gawain lang yun ng nakaraang pangulo na isolated at takot sa mamamayan."

The Bayan secretary general showed media six murals that will be brought instead to the rallies on Monday.

"Kumakatawan, sumasalamin sa mungkahi, agenda na tinutulak ng iba't-ibang organisasyon. Gusto natin national industrialization, gusto natin land reform, gusto natin ng kapayapaan na batay sa kataranungan, social servcies mabigay sa tao, good governance," Reyes said.

Meanwhile, singer Bayang Barrios arrived Thursday morning at the Lower House to inspect the session hall where she will sing the national anthem for the SONA.