MANILA - There was no rancor between the Philippine National Police and leftist groups outside the Batasang Pambansa on Monday, hours before the first State of the Nation Address of President Rodrigo Duterte.
PNP chief Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa shook hands with Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. and told the leftist leader: "Peace tayo today."
"Kung pwede lang pauwiin ko na pulis ko, peace loving naman tayong lahat," he added.
He also told some 3,000 activists attending a march on Commonwealth Avenue: "Masaya kami na nandito kayo, wag lang tayong manggulo."
Reyes earlier said the march is historic since it is the first time that left-leaning groups were allowed to approach the Batasang Pambansa during the SONA.
"This is historic, ngayon lang talaga kami nakalapit. Pwede naman pala e," he said.
Police officials said the PNP chief has also instructed elements of the Civil Disturbance Management to lay down their shields.