SONA 2018 rallies 'very peaceful'
MANILA, Philippines – The rallies timed with President Rodrigo Duterte's 3rd State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 23, were "very peaceful."
This was the assessment of Philippine National Police (PNP) Metro Manila director Chief Superintendent Guillermo Eleazar about an hour after Duterte finished his speech.
"Very peaceful, wala ni isang untoward incident na nareport sa atin o recorded. Matagumpay ang ating security deployment," Eleazar told reporters.
(It was very peaceful, there was not one untoward incident reported or recorded. Our security deployment was a success.)
This year, the police's crowd estimate for demonstrators peaked at 22,050, with 15,000 in anti-administration protests and 7,050 in pro-administration rallies.
The biggest venue for anti-Duterte protesters was along Commonwealth Avenue. The largest group of pro-Duterte demonstrators, meanwhile, congregated along IBP Road which leads to the venue of the SONA – the Batasang Pambansa.
Eleazar said his evaluation rings true for both sides.
This year, police deployed human rights cops to prevent their colleagues from committing abuses. The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) also sent around 40 investigators and lawyers to monitor the situation on the ground.
The rallies ended at around 7:30 pm. – Rappler.com