The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) issued an advisory urging local government units (LGUs) to ban and not allow rallies during President Rodrigo Duterte’s fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA).
The agency reminded the LGUs to comply with Resolution No. 57 of the the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) which states that all types of mass gatherings are prohibited under community quarantine including rallies to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Critics, however, slammed the move, raising particular incidents in which Duterte’s known allies, like OWWA Deputy Administrator Mocha Uson, NCRPO Chief Debold Sinas, and Senator Bong Go, deliberately violated the prohibition on gatherings during the quarantine period but were not reprimanded.
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) also expressed concerns about the advisory, stressing that the Philippine National Police (PNP) already said that the current pandemic won’t be used as a reason to crackdown dissenters.