A MILITANT group is questioning the plan to deploy 10,000 policemen during the first State of the Nation Address (Sona) of President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III on July 26.
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) dubbed the plan "strange", saying the police seem to be caught up in the previous administration's paranoia that it wants to deploy so many cops all over Quezon City, particularly in Commonwealth Avenue area.
"Didn't Mr. Aquino say that we have seen the end of a government that is insensitive towards the people's plight? Isn't this new government willing to listen to the calls of the people from the streets," said Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes Jr.
Bayan led various protests during the Sona of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
The group is assuring the public that their Sona protest this year will be peaceful and organized, citing it will focus on the problems of the economy, unemployment, lack of social services and escalating human rights violations.
Bayan also said that the venue of the protest will be symbolic of how the present government deals with people's demands.
"We will yet discuss the details of the protest. The new government should at least show some flexibility in dealing with mass actions, and not the paranoia that was the hallmark of the past government," Reyes added.
Bayan called on Malacañang, including newly-appointed Interior and Local Government chief Jesse Robredo, and newly-elected Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista, to intervene in the massive police deployment.
The group is also planning to conduct a rally Monday to demand a stop to extrajudicial killings and the scrapping of the "counter-insurgency" program Oplan Bantay Laya. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)