12,000 expected to defy virus fears in SONA protest at UP: official


Posted at Jul 27 2020 10:52 AM

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Some 12,000 protesters are expected to defy fears of the novel coronavirus on Monday as they converge at the University of the Philippines-Diliman in Quezon City for President Rodrigo Duterte's fifth State of the Nation Address, an official said Monday. 

Around 90 groups of activists, lawyers, journalists, religious groups, artists, students, workers, indigenous people, urban poor and various other sectors will join the SONAgkaisa rally, said UP vice chancellor for community affairs Dr. Aleli Bawagan. 

Protest organizers agreed to enforce physical distancing, the wearing of face masks and other health protocols, like they did during a rally last Independence Day, she said. 

"Malaking grupo po itong inaasahan natin, mas malaki kaysa noong June 12," she told DZMM. 

(We are expecting a bigger group compared to the June 12 protest.) 
Police said officers deployed around the campus will only "provide security" and will not bar protesters from gathering. The officers cannot enter the campus, which will be monitored by its own police, said Bawagan. 

TeleRadyo, July 27, 2020