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PNP designates UP Diliman for SONA protests

NCRPO Chief Debold Sinas warns mass-gathering violators will be arrested.
by Jet Hitosis
Jul 25, 2020
Anticipating the protests that will take place on July 27, 2020, the State of the Nation Address of President Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippine National Police reminds the protesters to protect themselves against COVID-19 by wearing face masks and observing physical distancing.
Photo/s: Jerome Ascano
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Those who are planning a protest action against President Rodrigo Duterte’s fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 27, 2020, will be directed to University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman.

To avoid  traffic build-up,  the Philippine National Police (PNP) will not allow any mass gathering on Commonwealth Avenue, the main road leading to the SONA's venue, Batasang Pambansa.

“The security preparations for the President’s SONA are all set,” PNP spokesman Brigadier General Bernard Banac told the media in a statement.

“To those who would insist on holding a protest action, they could go to the UP campus where they would be allowed to protest.”

Banac also underlined that the protesters should wear face masks, face shields, and observe physical distancing.

Meanwhile, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Director Major General Debold Sinas said that about 7,500 policemen, soldiers, and enforcers from Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will be deployed to secure the areas near Batasang Pambansa.

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Sinas—who is currently facing quarantine violation charges for celebrating his birthday with a Mananita two months ago—warned that those who will be caught violating the guidelines for mass gatherings will be arrested.

Banac, for his part, encouraged protesters to express their complaints and grievances through social media to avoid the risk of being infected by the COVID-19.

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