Friday, July 28, 2017

No effigies burned on DU30's SONA 2017 afternoon

For the second time, the parliamentarians on the avenue leading to the Batasan Pambansa did not burn the effigy of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (DU30). Last year was honeymoon time for the chief executive and the so-called Left. He had appointed leftists to the Cabinet; hence, a cordial mood prevailed on Commonwealth Avenue.

After he delivered his long SONA 2017--scripted and ad libbed--before the joint session of the Senate and the House, the diplomatic corps, and the slick crowd in the galleries, and viewed live on TV by the common people, DU30 surprised the rally crowd by appearing on their entablado. He spoke briefly (around 13 minutes in the YouTube video) but hecklers interrupted him every now and then.

DU30 according to the Socialistas.

There were two effigies of DU30. The Socialistas, who did not mix with the Bayan (Bagong Alyansang Makabayan) groups, spoke on their own entablado and displayed their DU30 effigy in military camouflage with sidearms, tagged 'pasista' on his cap. Aside from the large hardboard cut-out of DU30 as Hitler look-alike, Bayan also had effigies of the president held by the claws of the eagle Uncle Sam, with Finance Sec. Carlos Dominguez and DND chief Delfin Lorenzana on the side.

DU30 according to the Bayan bloc.

One fellow hugged his own democratic space in front of the Batasan, right beside the Bayan assembly. In his placard, he described himself as a 'nuissance candidate' during the last presidential elections. He called DU30 a Hitler.

DU30 dubbed as Hitler.

The BlockDuterte group focused on the EJK or tokhang killings. They had sacks of old, junked shoes to display on a large swath of Commonwealth Avenue, past the St, Peter's Church but far from the entablados and red flags of the Socialistas and the Bayan groups. The shoes were intended to represent the missing, the victims of the illegal killings associated with the droga war.

We always tend to gravitate to the lumads participating in protest events in Manila: Lakbayan or the the SONA. The Manobos usually represent the lumads, the schoolchildren and adults with the leaders in their beaded takulong headgear. They lend ethnic color to the mass rallies.

Lumad schoolchildren in protest front line .

In this SONA, the lumad children brought to the fore their schools. They got the ire of DU30 who threatened to bomb these schools. He did not like the children joining anti-government demonstrations, and he alleged that the schools were illegal, not authorized by DepEd, and were being used for leftist indoctrination.

It was a sunless afternoon altogether with slight showers breaking up huddling groups every now and then. The police just watched the rallying crowd, the anti-riot shields stacked far from the entablados.

The surprise visit of DU30 was preceded by barong clad PSG members surveying the Bayan entablado area while he was delivering his SONA. Nobody suspected that he would be coming down here,. But may be Bayan Secretary Gen. Renato Reyes, Jr. and Saturnino Ocampo knew it before hand. There was an amiable exchange of words between them and the police general while the security survey was being done.

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