— Inquirer Group (@inquirerdotnet) August 28, 2015
MANILA — President Aquino instructed Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II to work with the police and local government units affected by the ongoing mass action of members of Iglesia Ni Cristo to ensure public safety and order.
Roxas met with officials of Quezon City and Mandaluyong City, as well as officials of the PNP on how they can move forward with regards to the protest action of INC members,” Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a radio interview Saturday.
The President specifically wanted the ongoing mass action to become orderly, peaceful and not disrupt other people who are not part of the mass action, Valte told dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.
“At alam ko nasa Camp Crame sila ngayon, kakatapos lang nilang magpulong, at pinag-usapan nila kung ano ba ang way forward dahil doon sa mga nagiging kilos protesta diyan sa EDSA-Shaw,” she said.
The Palace spokesperson also said they have been informed that the local government of Mandaluyong has issued a permit to the protesters, noting the permit had corresponding conditions.
With regards to heavy traffic caused by the protest in the EDSA-Shaw area, she said they have been monitoring the situation since last night.
“The President’s instructions were to ensure the safety of the public including… Not just those who were involved in the protest, but more importantly, those who are uninvolved in the protest,” she said.
“The President mentioned specifically that government should ensure — at least, the executive branch — that there are no opportunities for those who may want to take advantage of the situation for their personal end.”
Valte also brushed off allegations that the government is harassing INC because it does not want to support Roxas in his political bid.
“Hindi po natin alam kung ano itong sinasabing — o nako-construe na harassment na ito. But, in any case, naka-focus tayo dito ngayon doon sa sitwasyon diyan sa EDSA-Shaw at sa katunayan ay kakatapos lang ng kanilang meeting,” Valte said.
Asked how the government intends to respond to end the rally, she said the government follows certain processes if there is a legitimate complaint filed against somebody.
“Kahit sino pa ho ang inirereklamo, isa lang ang proseso diyan, at katulad nga ng sinabi ni Secretary De Lima this process has to be followed,” Valte said.