Malacañang on Monday urged people planning to hold mass protests to coincide with the celebration of the Philippine independence to express their sentiments instead on social media.
In a televised briefing, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque reminded the public to follow community quarantine rules, including physical distancing, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Mas malaking banta ang COVID-19, eh huwag ninyo naman pong i-violate iyong ating quarantine rules gaya ng social distancing. Puwede po magprotesta online, hindi po natin sinusupil iyan,” he said.
The Philippines will mark its 122nd year of independence from Spain on Friday amid criticisms over the proposed amendments to the anti-terror law and the government’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis.
Last Saturday, the anti-administration Movement Against Tyranny announced that a mañanita protest calling for the junking of the anti-terror bill and standing up against tyranny would be held on June 12.
The event was named after National Capital Region Police Office chief Police Major General Debold Sinas' birthday celebration, which was held last month despite the prohibition against mass gathering, including parties, under the enhanced community quarantine.
Senator Francis Pangilinan has also advised protesters to call their gatherings a "mañanita" to avoid arrests or charges, much like in Sinas' case.
The Philippine National Police said on Sunday that maximum tolerance would be exercised during the protest. —LDF, GMA News