THE Davao City Police Office (DCPO) announced that the People's Initiative (PI) “Unity for One Nation, One Prayer” rally at the San Pedro Square in San Pedro Street, Davao City on Sunday evening, January 28, 2024, was successful.
Based on the final tally, more than 53,000 Filipinos across the country gathered in response to their collective call “No to Charter change” or against the amendment of the 1987 Constitution.
Meanwhile, thousands also from the number came from different barangays and districts in Davao City wearing their “Dabawenyos are not for sale” shirts.
"The mass launching and prayer rally conducted at San Pedro Square on January 28, 2024, was attended by 53,500 individuals from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The activity concluded at around 10:30 p.m. on the same date, and it was generally peaceful,” the DCPO’s statement read.
The police office also emphasized that there were collaborations between the security forces and the attendees, resulting in a peaceful conduct of the historical event.
“The primary aim of the safety and security forces in Davao City was to ensure the safety of everyone, with no problems encountered related to any forms of violence. The cooperation and assistance of the people had a significant impact on the success of the event," the statement added.
Hours before the rally, DCPO received a report about bomb threats circulating on social media stating that a possible explosion at Rizal Park, the main venue of the event, would possibly be orchestrated by destabilizers. But this was immediately debunked by DCPO spokesperson Captain Hazel Tuazon.
In a radio interview, the official clarified that there were no direct threats or any form of violence in the city as all security forces in the jurisdiction were on high alert status.
“Bisan ug wala tay na-receive nga any threat, manghangyo mi sa mga Dabawenyo nga mag binantayon gihapon sa palibot [ug] magtinabangay ang tanan para luwas ta perme” the official stated.
(Even though we haven't received any threat, we ask the Dabawenyos to be vigilant around [and] everyone [must] work together to keep us safe).
The fake news was also dismissed by Captain John Louie Dema-ala, Task Force Davao spokesperson as nothing but to scare the people who would attend the rally.
“Naka-high alert mi karon pero just to verify, dili tinood tung message. Nagapakalat-kalat ra to just to lessen or scare rallyists nga muapil sa event. In fact, wala tay direct threat karon, very low sya,” Dema-ala confirmed in a phone interview with SunStar.
(We are on high alert today but just to verify, the message was not true. It was meant to lessen or scare the rallyists who would participate in the event. In fact, low or we don't have a direct threat as of now).
The bomb scare was supposed to be read as: “Sa mga kaibigan, ingat kayo dyan sa Rizal Park, Davao City sa January 28 baka bombahan sa mga destabilizers”
(To our friends, stay safe at Rizal Park, Davao City on January 28 as destabilizers might bomb the event). DEF