MANILA –Democracy is vibrant and alive under the Duterte administration as Filipinos relive the spirit of EDSA with simultaneous rallies held in the People Power Monument, the Quirino Grandstand, the Libingan ng mga Bayani, and various cities nationwide and abroad.
No major untoward incident was reported in all these rallies and areas.
Groups of students held rally in the People Power Monument in the morning of February 25 while other groups of rallyists were at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
Former President Benigno Aquino III, Senator Franklin Drilon, Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV and Senator Francis Pangilinan joined the protesters at the People Power Monument which was estimated to be around 1,200 as of 8:00 p.m. Saturday.
Around 210,000 supporters of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte were gathered at the same time at the Quirino Grandstand. Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre, Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial, and Senator Alan Peter Cayetano were among those who joined the rally on the first day and delivered short speeches before the crowd.
The Philippine National Police – National Capital Region Office (PNP-NCRPO) estimated the crowd to have peaked by 215,000 at nine in the evening.
Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, meanwhile, called on the people to defend freedom and democracy.
“Ang People Power ay tayong lahat na mga Pilipino… ipakita sa buong mundo na buhay na buhay ang demokrasya. Kaya tayo nandito dahil we want to defend democracy and defend freedom,” the Communications Chief said.
Andanar likewise exhorted the people to respect the Constitution and honor the mandate of the President.
“Ipakita natin sa buong mundo na nire-respeto natin ang Konstitusyon, nire-respeto ang mandato ng ating Pangulong Duterte. At tayong lahat dito sa Quirino ay naniniwala sa demokrasya dito sa Pilipinas,” he urged.
Privately organized by the Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte – National Executive Coordinating Committee (MRRD-NECC), in partnership with Partido Demokratiko Pilipino (PDP), Kilusang Pagbabago, Friends of Rody Duterte (FORD), and Hugpong Federalismo, the two-day rally aimed at manifesting support on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war against illegal drugs, corruption, criminality, and poverty.
Participants lighted candles, listened to the testimonies of victims of illegal drugs, and enjoyed the fireworks and music concert until the next day. The activity at the Quirino Grandstand ended at around 10:20 in the morning Sunday.
Meanwhile, members of various groups and sectors from different provinces and countries held a vigil-rally to show their support to the President.