- PNP official lauded the militants’ generally peaceful protest outside of the US embassy
- Manila police chief also asked the DSWD to provide water and snacks to protesters next time
- Rallyists urged President Rodrigo Duterte not to honor EDCA
MANILA, Philippines – Except for a brief altercation, all was well in the rally outside the US Embassy on Wednesday, July 27.
The protesters, comprised of progressive groups including Bayan Muna, were protesting the arrival of US Secretary of State John Kerry and the Supreme Court’s upholding of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).
As show in an ABS-CBN’s video, Bayan Muna Secretary General Renato Reyes negotiated with Manila Police District (MPD) Director Supt. Joel Napoleon to let the protesters near the Embassy on the condition they won’t throw stones or do anything unruly.
During the rally, the militants blasted Kerry’s arrival and urged President Rodrigo Duterte not to honor the EDCA.
Things went physical for a while after protesters tried to break through the agreed demarcation line. However, all was well again after National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Director Chief Supt. Oscar Albayade arrived to talk things out with the protesters.
In the end, the rally ended smoothly — with Albayade acknowledging the peacefulness of the event by giving high-fives, a thumbs-up and a tip of his cap to the departing militants.
“The coordination between our countrymen who were rallying and the PNP was good,” he said.
Even more surprising, Coronel said they will ask the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to provide the rallyists water and snacks next time provided they behave.
“We ask the DSWD to provide water and at least some snacks for them,” he said.
Monday’s SONA, which was President Rodrigo Duterte’s first, also ended without any altercation between police and militants.