MANILA, Philippines – Different youth groups, organizations and coalitions of opposition personalities will be staging protests and other activities around the country on the day of President Rodrigo Duterte’s fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 22.
Dubbed the United People’s SONA, groups from different sectors will show their strongest opposition to Duterte’s stance on the West Philippine Sea, attacks against human rights, and unjust economic policies.
This year will also be the first time for the United People’s SONA to focus on the central issue of sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea.
Duterte’s 4th SONA comes on the heels of the controversial sinking of a boat with 22 Filipino fishermen onboard by a Chinese vessel, which the administration downplayed as a mere “maritime incident.” (READ: 12 things to expect at Duterte’s SONA 2019)
In Metro Manila, various opposition groups will be staging their own programs along Commonwealth Avenue and Elliptical Road leading up to the United People’s SONA before marching towards the main stage at St Peter Parish Church at 3 pm.
There are also United SONA programs expected to be held not only in different parts of the Philippines but also abroad.
Here is a running list for Monday:
As part of the protests happening on the day of the SONA, Piston, along with drivers and operators, will hold a rally in front of the Commission on Human Rights to denounce the government’s public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program at 9 am.
Youth groups such as Anakbayan, League of Filipino Students, College Editors Guild of the Philippines, National Union of Students in the Philippines, Student Christian Movement of the Philippines, and Kabataan Partylist will also meet up at the Commission on Human Rights at 11 am for the United People’s SONA rally. The protest action is an effort to show the youth’s fight for human rights, freedom, and sovereignty.
- The National Council of Churches in the Philippines will also hold a program at Ever Gotesco Mall to pray and call on the administration to defend Philippine seas and Filipinos at around 1 pm. They’ll later march in the United People’s SONA at 3 pm.
In Iloilo City, Kilusang Mayo Uno – Panay will join the United People’s SONA at Sunburst Park at around 1 pm to strengthen their call to end contractualization and to denounce violence against workers.
In Baguio City, Tongtongan Ti Umili-Cordillera Peoples Alliance will be holding a forum on the state of the nation with former Social Welfare and Development Secretary Judy Taguiwalo and Bishop Reuel Norman Margiza at the Upper Hall, Cathedral of the Resurrection, Magsaysay Avenue Baguio City from 8:30 am to 12 pm. This will be followed by a protest action to fight for the Philippines at 12:30 pm at Malcolm Square.
– with reports from Pat Echano/Rappler.com
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For highlights of President Duterte’s 4th SONA, check out our live blog.
For related stories, visit Rappler’s 2019 State of the Nation Address page.
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