Mass actions would be allowed only in areas designated by the authorities, Purisima said.
"Our policies under the law are: no permit, no rally and maximum tolerance. That’s basically how we are going to handle the protest rallies," he said during the security preparations being conducted by the Philippine National Police for the SONA.
Purisima also called on the public to stay away from rallies and help convince militant groups not to stage protest actions during the event. He said he is even willing to sit down with militant leaders to discuss things.
From news reports (like this one), the following armed personnel from various state agencies will be deployed:
- 7,000 policemen in the National Capital Region (NCR)
- 1,800 policement from Luzon regions outlying the NCR
Also on "full alert" are police forces in the "sugar baron" regions of the country, the...
- Negros Occidental Provincial Police Office (Noppo)
- Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO)
All this despite the government confirming that "that there are no threats to the security during the President’s Sona."
Earlier a Quezon City court had denied a request from the militant Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) to hold a protest march to the Batasan Pambansa where Aquino is to deliver the SONA at 4pm today.
Despite this, militants were spotted gathering at "some parts" of Commonwealth Avenue (which leads to the Batasan Pambansa building)...
Groups spotted in the sprawling highway are Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), Makabayan, Anakpawis, Kilusang Mayo Uno, Partido ng Manggagawa (PM), among others.
They carried placards criticizing the government’s policies from labor, human rights and even the slow progress of running after supposed crooks under the nine-year rule of former President and incumbent Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Grievances of these protesters also revolved around a perceived lack of confidence in the ability of the Aquino Government to deliver on promises to implement "social transformation."