Thousands join rally against Marcos SONA
According to the group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), up to 8,000 people marched last July 25 along Commonwealth Ave. in Quezon City to convey the real state of the nation, coinciding with Ferdinand Marcos Jr’s first State of the Nation Address (SONA). Earlier, the Philippine National Police baselessly prohibited rallies along the highway and even threatened to arrest whoever violates the prohibition. The local government of Quezon City allowed the rally only after the organization asserted their right to peaceably assemble.
The rally primarily focused on the people’s plummeting socio-economic conditions in the face of skyrocketing prices of oil, food and basic needs. The group raised a large banner with the call: “End the crisis! Fight for land, wages, jobs and rights!”
Together with organizations comprising the People’s Summit, Bayan also presented a 9-point people’s agenda amid the intensifying crisis. Underscored here is the call to address inflation and cancel taxes on consumers and demands for measures to jumpstart agriculture and food production.
The protesters also condemned the deployment of 21,000 police personnel for the first SONA. There was also an attempt to suppress the wearing of outfits with political messages, which has been practiced by Makabayan bloc representatives during the past years.
Delegates from progressive groups in Southern Tagalog joined the protest. They launched a caravan to Metro Manila last July 24 and staged a picket at the Chinese embassy in Makati, the Petron national office, and other areas. Progressive organizations from Central Luzon also joined the march.
Counter-SONA protests were also launched by democratic organizations in the cities of Baguio, Naga, Bacolod, Iloilo, Davao, General Santos and in the town of Kalibo.
Meanwhile, two Lumad youth who joined the protest in Davao City were arrested detained by police on the basis of trumped up charges.
Overseas, migrant Filipinos also expressed their united opposition to the Marcos II regime’s anti-people and anti-poor policies. Filipinos staged protests in 10 states in the US, as Filipinos also demonstrated in five provinces in Canada and in three states in Australia. There were also protests in Hongkong. The protests were held last July 24 and 25.