The Daily Manila Shimbun


Palace says anti-bloody drug war rally part of people’s right

August 21, 2017

Malacanang said on Monday it respects the right of the people to hold rallies amid outrage over the police anti-drug operations, resulting to the killings of individuals allegedly involved in illegal drugs, including a 17-year old student.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the protest action for Kian Lloyd delos Santos, a teenager slain in Caloocan City last week, "is part of the people’s right to assemble, express their views and air their grievances."

He noted President Rodrigo Duterte has said time and again he will allow mass protest as long as it does not cause public inconvenience or compromise public safety.

"This is consistent with PRRD’s (Duterte) philosophy that criticism – good or bad – is part of the territory of anyone working in the government," he said.

"Having said this, we enjoin protesters to fully cooperate with police authorities who are expected to exercise maximum tolerance during the event," Abella added.

Critics of Duterte's bloody war on illegal drugs are expected to join in protests Monday night in different parts of the country.

In Metro Manila, one of the venues is at the People's Power Monument in Quezon City. The rallies would be held as the country commemorates the 34th death anniversary of Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr., a critic of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos who ruled the Philippines for two decades. Aquino was assassinated at the tarmac of Manila International Airport upon return from exile in the United States on August 21, 1983.

Over 90 people were killed in less than a week during the intensified anti-drug operations in Bulacan, Manila and Caloocan last week. Celerina Monte/DMS