National Day of Protest shows democracy alive in PH: Andanar


MANILA — Malacañang is encouraging the people to exercise their right to freedom of speech and peaceful assembly on Thursday, the National Day of Protest, to show the world that democracy is alive and kicking in the Philippines, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said Wednesday.

In a radio interview aired over dwIZ, Andanar said everybody is welcome to air whatever grievances they have against the government, private establishments or individuals.

“We are encouraging people to protest tomorrow because it’s a National Day of Protest. Ang protesta naman ay…puwede kang magprotesta (protest can mean you can rally) against your government, for the government; against your own company or your private capacity, kung meron kang mga ayaw o gusto mong i-protesta (if you are against or for something you can demonstrate). That is why it’s a National Day of Protest,” the Palace official said.

“Ang mahalaga dito ay ang ating Pangulo ay naniniwala na kailangan talagang suportahan at kailangan talagang ipaalam sa buong mundo na malakas ang demokrasya sa ating bayan (What is important here is our President believes that there is a need to support and let the whole world know how strong democracy is in our country),” Andanar said.

President Duterte has declared September 21, 2017 as National Day of Protest “in solidarity with the people’s call against all excesses and shortcomings of the government, and with the people’s desire to uphold the highest standards of integrity, efficiency, and accountability in government.”

September 21 marks the 45th anniversary of the declaration of martial law by the late President Ferdinand Marcos and various groups have announced to stage massive demonstrations on the said date.

Duterte has urged the people, including government employees, to join the rallies to air their grievances.

“Kaya lahat ng mga gustong mag-protesta ay (All those who want to rally) you are free to protest, you are free to go there on a rally dahil (because) it’s National Day of Protest. And ipakita ninyo na (You show them that) we support, we practice freedom for people to assemble to express their views and opinion in life,” Andanar said.