President Rodrigo Duterte is considering suspending government work and classes amid plans of several groups to stage a massive protest in the coming days.
"This early, I am announcing that I am ordering a holiday para walang masaktan, walang ano kung may demonstration diyan, magkagulo. Walang trabaho ang gobyerno ‘yang araw na 'yan at ang klase suspended," Duterte said without mentioning a date.
Duterte made the statement in an interview with news anchor and broadcaster Erwin Tulfo, a transcript of which was provided to the media on Friday..
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana confirmed Duterte’s plan.
"'Pagka magkaroon ng massive rally sa Maynila at it might inconvenience the public, para hindi, 'di ko na lang silang papasukin. I will declare sa mga opisina'," Lorenzana recalled the President as saying.
He added that the date could be September 21, the 45th anniversary of the martial law declaration of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Movement Against Tyranny, a multisectoral group against “fascism and militarist rule of the Duterte government,” is set to hold a rally at Luneta Park on September 21.
Duterte's full interview is expected to air on Friday night on PTV-4. —Trisha Macas/KBK, GMA News