MANILA – As the country celebrates the 122nd anniversary of Independence Day, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso appealed to protesters not to conduct mass gatherings during the time that the country is still under a state of a public health emergency.
Even as he understands that protesters only want to express their opinion and be heard, Domagoso said this is not the right time.
“We are under a state of health emergency. More than issues of ourselves, belief and all other things, katulad ng nabanggit ko kanina, pagmamalasakit sa kapwa (just as I said earlier, care for your countrymen). We should not violate any policy that helps to fight Covid, and one of those is we cannot allow assembly, more than five persons,” he said.
Domagoso said he believes there is a time for everything, and that there are other venues where they can express themselves.
Domagoso said he welcomes everyone in Manila, including those who wish to express themselves, but warned them that if protesters conduct gatherings and violate policies, then he will have to do his job to protect Manilenyos.
“They are all welcome in Manila at any given time, ang pakisuyo ko lang wag lang nila gagawin ngayon, (my only request is not today) and we will implement what we have to do, and I hope this will be a fair warning,” he said.
Domagoso even encouraged these groups who want to air their grievances, to do this in Manila, and to be the focal area of democracy, just like the Plaza Miranda and the Rizal Park in the old days.
However, he appealed not to do it during this time of the pandemic.
“I am obliged, I am responsible to protect the interest of each and every Manilenyo, that is my job and I’m gonna do my job, and that is also the job our policemen, thru General (Rolando) Miranda, we’ll do our job, they do their thing, I hope they behave, I hope they follow but if not nalulungkot ako for them (I am sad for them),” he said.
Meanwhile, Domagoso urged Filipinos to be united in fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
He hopes that everyone shows concern, and follows safety protocols being implemented by the government in order to defeat Covid-19. Marita Moaje /PNA – northboundasia.com