Activists on Marcos’ 1st SONA: ‘Prove that you’re not like your father’

Josiah Antonio, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 25 2022 01:37 PM | Updated as of Jul 25 2022 09:07 PM

Protesters from various groups challenged President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to prove that he is not like his father, as he is set to deliver his first State of the Nation Address, on July 25, 2022. Josiah Antonio, ABS-CBN News
Protesters from various groups challenged President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to prove that he is not like his father, as he is set to deliver his first State of the Nation Address, on July 25, 2022. Josiah Antonio, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATE) — Protesters from various groups on Monday challenged President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to prove that he is not like his father, as he is set to deliver his first State of the Nation Address. 

"Ito ay mga hamon namin na patunayan niya na siya ay hindi si (Rodrigo) Duterte, patunayan niya na hindi siya another Marcos Sr., at may kakaibang katangian siya na ipatupad at galangin ang kahilingan ng manggagawang Pilipino at ng mamamayang Pilipino," Labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno chairperson Elmer Labog said.

(Our challenge to [Bongbong Marcos] is to prove that he is not like [Rodrigo] Duterte, prove that he is not another Marcos Sr. and that he has different attributes to heed and respect the call of the workers and the Filipino people.)

The president's father, the late Ferdinand Marcos Sr., imposed Martial Law from 1972 until 1981, during which human rights violations were reported as well as corruption. He led the country from 1965 until 1986 when he was ousted by the People Power Revolution.

Labog told reporters that Marcos Jr. should immediately lay down his programs to address the economic crisis faced by the Filipino people. 

He also urged the president to end "contractualization" and raise the salaries of Filipinos as prices of goods and commodities continue to rise.

Filipino Nurses United Maristela Abenojar said that Marcos Jr. should appoint a new health chief to focus on addressing the COVID-19 crisis.

Abenojar said that designating an officer-in-charge is not enough to address the concerns of the health sector. Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire currently leads the Department of Health.

"Mahalaga na mayroon na tayong natukoy na secretary of health upang nang sa ganoon magkaroon ng malinaw na plano sa pagharap sa iba't ibang isyung kinakaharap natin, lalo na at mayroon pa rin tayong pandemyang COVID," she told reporters.

(It is important that we have a Secretary of Health in order to have a clear plan in facing various issues as we still have the COVID pandemic.)

Around 4,000 activists took part in the protest action for Marcos’ first SONA, according to the Quezon City Police.

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Protesters from various groups on July 25, 2022 challenged President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to prove that he is not like his father, as he is set to deliver his first State of the Nation Address. Josiah Antonio, ABS-CBN News

Protesters from various groups on July 25, 2022 challenged President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to prove that he is not like his father, as he is set to deliver his first State of the Nation Address. Josiah Antonio, ABS-CBN News

Protesters from various groups on July 25, 2022 challenged President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to prove that he is not like his father, as he is set to deliver his first State of the Nation Address. Josiah Antonio, ABS-CBN News

Protesters from various groups on July 25, 2022 challenged President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to prove that he is not like his father, as he is set to deliver his first State of the Nation Address. Josiah Antonio, ABS-CBN News

Protesters from various groups on July 25, 2022 challenged President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to prove that he is not like his father, as he is set to deliver his first State of the Nation Address. Josiah Antonio, ABS-CBN News

Protesters from various groups on July 25, 2022 challenged President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to prove that he is not like his father, as he is set to deliver his first State of the Nation Address. Josiah Antonio, ABS-CBN News

Protesters from various groups on July 25, 2022 challenged President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to prove that he is not like his father, as he is set to deliver his first State of the Nation Address. Josiah Antonio, ABS-CBN News

Protesters from various groups on July 25, 2022 challenged President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to prove that he is not like his father, as he is set to deliver his first State of the Nation Address. Josiah Antonio, ABS-CBN News

Protesters from various groups on July 25, 2022 challenged President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to prove that he is not like his father, as he is set to deliver his first State of the Nation Address. Josiah Antonio, ABS-CBN News

Protesters from various groups on July 25, 2022 challenged President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to prove that he is not like his father, as he is set to deliver his first State of the Nation Address. Josiah Antonio, ABS-CBN News

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan secretary-general Renato Reyes Jr. said the police has “double standards” as they were not allowed to go near Batasang Pambansa, where the SONA will be held later Monday.

"Lumalabas po sa administrasyon na ito na 'yung karapatan at kalayaan ay iba ang aplikasyon roon sa mga pro-Marcos at mga kritiko ng administrasyon. 'Yung pulis, sinabi na hindi kami pwedeng lumapit sa Batasan kasi raw traffic at hindi raw 'yun freedom park. Pero 'yung mga tagapalakpak ng administrasyon, pinayagan nila. Ibig sabihin, may double standards," Reyes told reporters.

(It appears in this administration that the rights and freedom have a different application to the pro-Marcoses and to critics of the administration. The police said that we can't approach Batasan because it will cause heavy traffic and the area is not a freedom park. But the cheerleaders of the administration were allowed there. It means there are double standards.)

"'Yung mga pro-Marcos ay hinahayaan nilang lumapit, tapos kami ay makakalikha ng traffic. 'Yun po ay mali kasi dapat ang batas, pantay para sa lahat," he added.

(They let the pro-Marcos group go near Batasan Complex, while we were told we can cause heavy traffic. That's wrong because the law should be equal for everyone.)

Quezon City Police District chief Police Brig. Gen. Remus Medina refuted the claim, saying that they have treated both pro- and anti-Marcos protesters equally. He said they separated the protesters and gave equal manpower to avoid commotion.

"I don't think mayroong (there is) favoritism or bias. Parehong pinagbigyan, parehong nilagyan ng lugar kung saan sila pwedeng mag-rally. So I don't think na mayroong bias po roon," Medina told reporters. 

(Both were given a chance and place to conduct their rallies, and I don't think there was bias.)

On ANC's Dateline Philippines, Medina said anti-Marcos demonstrators have a permit valid until 12 noon and were allowed by the local government to stay at Tandang Sora area.

"They're peacefully having their program starting 8 o'clock up to noon. But right now, they have slowly dispersed. And we can now focus on the pro-BBM, situated here at HoR," he said.

"Hopefully, they (pro-Marcos demonstrators) will start their program (at) 2 o'clock until 6 (p.m.). And hopefully, they can conduct their program peacefully. We will also be watching them," he added.

Medina said around 10,000 are estimated to take part in the pro-Marcos rally, according to organizers.

Marcos is expected to announce his economic programs when he delivers his SONA.

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