MANILA, Philippines – Up to 4,000 supporters of President Rodrigo Duterte continue to gather at the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta, Manila on Sunday, February 26.
The police said about 2,000 stayed the night after their show of force on Saturday, February 25, and more arrived Sunday morning. A Zumba session was held early in the morning to raise their spirits, according to a radio report.
On the 31st anniversary of the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution, the President’s supporters massed up in Luneta in response to an anti-Duterte rally held at the People Power Monument. Up to 215,000 showed up Saturday night, according to police estimates.
The two gatherings were symbolic of the divide between the current Duterte administration – whose key allies rallied the supporters in Luneta – and his predecessor Benigno Aquino III, who led the gathering at the People Power Monument. (IN PHOTOS: Thousands gather at Luneta to support Duterte)
The commemoration of the historic event comes as the Duterte administration jailed his fiercest critic, Senator Leila de Lima, whom government accused of protecting the illegal drug trade when she was Aquino’s Justice Secretary.
De Lima had investigated killings in Davao City when Duterte was mayor. She said this is why Duterte had singled her out.
Duterte, who was in Davao City, did not participate in the commemoration of the bloodless revolution.
Among those who appeared on stage in Luneta on Saturday were Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr, Bacoor Mayor Lani Mercado-Revilla, and Cavite Vice Governor Jolo Revilla. – Rappler.com