This year’s remembering of the 45th anniversary of the declaration of martial law in the country makes a difference since it will be marked with protests of all kinds after it is declared by President Duterte as Day of Protest. If he will make true his word, the President will also protest the low salaries and lack of benefits of government workers. He also encouraged underpaid media practitioners to come out in the open and protest. No arrest for communist rebels who will join the protest provided they will not be unruly. Truly, that will make a difference. Those who believed they are aggrieved, it will be your chance to raise your voice and protest. After all, it’s a state-inspired day of protest.
The war on illegal drugs of the administration has been an object of discourse and criticism since Duterte became President. It’s quite sure, numerous protesters will raise a howl against the unpopular war on drugs on Thursday. By declaring Thursday as day of protest signifies how broad minded the President is knowing perfectly that he will surely be one of the subjects of protest considering the number of deaths including teenagers in his bloody anti-illegal drugs campaign. People is given the chance to exercise their right to freedom of speech on that day which should not be wasted. Hence, protests should touch on legitimate issues and not on senseless ones otherwise time and chance will be wasted.
But protesters should police their ranks or else, there are thousands of security forces to deal with them. As what PNP Chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa had said, he expects troublemakers who will make a scene to spoil the day. With the mobilization of thousands of police nationwide, agitators should think twice of disrupting the protest actions as they will be dealt with accordingly. Vigilance is also needed against terror groups who might sabotage the exercise and observance of democracy in this country on that day.