Farmers slam denial of rally permit for SONA; new administration stifling freedom of assembly and expression

The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) said the Quezon City Department of Public Order and Safety (DPOS) denial of the permit to rally filed by the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) is a direct affront to the peoples’ constitutional rights to peaceably assemble and freely express their views and opinions.

“Bakit ba takot na takot ang bagong administrasyong Marcos Jr. sa mamamayan samantalang sila nga ang magdedeploy ng 21,000 tauhan para sa SONA? Lalabas ang mga tao sa SONA para manawagan sa bagong Pangulo at makinig din sa mga sasabihin niya kaugnay sa magiging programa at mga polisiya ng administrasyon. Our lives and future are at stake here. What right does the DPOS or the Philippine National Police have to prevent any peaceful assembly?” asks Rafael Mariano, chairperson emeritus of KMP and former DAR secretary.

“The denial of the rally permit and the declaration of Commonwealth Avenue as a no-rally zone are in fact violations of Batas Pambansa 880 that ensures the free exercise by the people of their right to peaceably assemble. The decree clearly states that public assembly means “any rally, demonstration, march, parade, procession or any other form of mass or concerted action held in a public place to present a lawful cause; or expressing an opinion to the general public on any particular issue; or protesting or influencing any state of affairs whether political, economic or social; or petitioning the government for a redress of grievances.”

“Commonwealth Avenue is a public place and therefore cannot be declared as off-limits and a no-rally zone. Under BP 880, “Public place” includes any highway, boulevard, avenue, road, street, bridge or other thoroughfares, park, plaza, square, and/or any open space of public ownership where the people are allowed access. BAYAN and its contingent have every right to conduct a peaceful protest program along the stretch of Commonwealth Avenue,” Ramos added.

“We ask Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte to intervene in her capacity as LGU executive to consider granting the rally permit. Wala pong clear and present danger ang mga pagkilos sa SONA. The PNP is only overreacting and imposing tyrannical measures that reflect the stance of the new president,” Mariano added.

KMP will join the activities and mobilization on Monday, July 23, to amplify the most urgent demand of farmers and the agriculture sector as contained in the 12-Point Doables for the First 100 days of the Marcos Jr. administration.


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