The government will exercise maximum tolerance against protesters as anti-Duterte groups planned to stage demonstrations in various areas of Manila in commemoration of the 46th anniversary of the declaration of martial law, Malacañang said Thursday.
“Maximum tolerance is what is in the law and that is what the President follows even without the law, but more so since there is a law,” said Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque in a Palace press briefing Thursday afternoon.
Roque said that no one can complain that the Duterte is overly-sensitive as the President recognizes the importance of free speech.
“But more so, since there is a law, no one can complain that the President is onion-skinned. He lets them protest as he recognizes the importance of free speech,” said Roque.
“So, we will give maximum tolerance to everyone, because after all the President was not the one who declared martial law on September 21 many years ago,” he added.
Asked to assess the threat against the administration, Roque said the anti-Duterte demonstrations are not something that the government cannot handle.
“It’s not anything that the State cannot deal with. Dream on to those who want to remove the President,” he said.
In his previous statement, Duterte claimed that several groups were planning for his ouster, or worse, assassination on Sept. 21.
“Someone said, that’s their plan now. If they can’t achieve their goal through explosions, they will assassinate [me],” said Duterte in a one-on-one live interview with Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo last week.
But he dares his perceived enemies to continue their plan early, and not wait until Sept. 21.
“Start it now, don’t delay your plan to sabotage on Sept. 21. Do it now,” he said.
Duterte earlier said he has in his possession a record of conversations, provided by sympathetic foreign governments, proving a “loose conspiracy” to oust him, involving the opposition Liberal Party, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, and the communist rebels.
Meanwhile, the Manila Development Authority and the city government of Manila will enforce road closure affecting major roads in the city today (Friday) and on Sunday to give way for activities in connection with the anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law.
The MMDA and the city’s District Traffic Enforcement Unit (MDTEU) urged motorists traversing Manila to take alternate routes to avoid heavy traffic caused by the road closure.
Starting at 6 a.m. onwards on Friday, the following roads will be closed for Talakayan sa Mapayapang Paggunita ng Martial Law event: North and Southbound lane of Roxas Boulevard from Katigbak to Pres. Quirino Ave.; Eastbound lane of TM Kalaw from Ma. Orosa to Taft Avenue and the East and Westbound lane of TM Kalaw from M.H Del Pilar to Roxas Boulevard.
The MMDA also advised motorists to take the following alternate routes on Friday: all vehicles coming from the northern part of Manila intending to utilize the stretch of Roxas Blvd; Southbound lane coming from Delpan Bridge-Pier Zone shall turn left to P. Burgos Street to point of destination; all vehicles utilizing westbound lane of TM Kalaw going to Roxas Boulevard shall turn left to MH Del Pilar to point of destination; vehicles coming from Mabini St. utilizing eastbound lane of TM Kalaw going to Taft Ave. shall turn left to Ma. Orosa to point of destination and those coming from southern part of Manila utilizing northbound lane of Roxas Boulevard shall turn right to Pres. Quirino Ave. to point of destination.
Meanwhile, the following roads will be closed at exactly 4 pm on Sunday, September 23 for Alay Lakad Para sa Kabataan 2018 event: North and Southbound lane of Roxas Boulevard from Anda Circle to P. Ocampo; P. Burgos from Roxas Blvd. to Lagusnilad east and westbound; T.M. Kalaw from Roxas Blvd. to MH del Pilar westbound; Finance Rd. from P. Burgos to Taft Ave. (both lanes); Stretch of Ma. Orosa from P. Burgos to TM Kalaw north and southbound lane; Westbound lane of Ayala Blvd. from Romualdez to Taft Avenue.
Motorists, meanwhile, are advised to take the following alternate routes on Sunday: All vehicles coming from Romualdez intending to utilize the stretch of Ayala Blvd. shall go straight to N.A Lopez, left to San Marino to point of destination; All vehicles coming from southern part of Manila intending to utilize the stretch of Roxas Blvd. northbound lane shall turn right to P. Ocampo, left to Taft Ave.; all public utility vehicles traveling along A. Mabini shall turn right to P. Gil or may either go straight and turn right to TM Kalaw, left to Taft Ave. to point of destination; all vehicles coming from northern part of Manila intending to traverse the stretch of Roxas Blvd.; southbound lane coming from Delpan Bridge-Pier Zone shall take A. Soriano, go straight to Magallanes Drive, right to P. Burgos, straight to Lagusnilad (Taft Avenue) to point of destination; all vehicles coming from Binondo (Jones Bridge) going to Intramuros area shall turn right to Magallanes Drive while vehicles coming from Sta. Cruz (McArthur Bridge) and Quiapo (Quezon Bridge) intending to proceed to Intramuros area shall turn right to Victoria St. to point of destination.
During the said period, all cargo trucks traveling Osmeña Highway are advised to turn right to Pres. Quirino Ave., straight ahead to Nagtahan, AH Lacson, Yuseco St. crossing Jose Abad Santos straight Raxabago, Capulong to point of destinations.
On the other hand, all cargo trucks intending to use the southbound truck route coming from Pier area shall take R-10 Northbound, then turn right to Capulong straight to Yuseco St. to AH Lacson Ave. to point of destination.