MANILA MalacaAang on Tuesday said it is not threatened by calls of former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno for the public to join protests against President Rodrigo Duterte, when the latter delivers his fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 22.
After Sereno bared that she is joining these demonstrations, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said he would even be amused to watch her do so.
If she refers to those who are critics and detractors of the administration, meaning that she has not joined them for the last few months, well, I think the opposition will welcome her. While we will be amused watching her, Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
If she will join the opposition to exercise her freedom of expression, then by all means, we will egg her to do that, he added.
Panelo, meanwhile, dismissed the idea that Sereno's encouragement for others to join the protests is inciting to sedition.
Baka naman (Perhaps) she wants to join the rallies. Okay lang naman sa amin ang mga rallies against this government (are okay for us), Panelo said.
In fact, it's the President who encourages that. You, because under the Constitution: legitimate grievances against the government can be freely expressed. Ang problema pag ano na (The problem is), you perform acts which are seditious as defined by law, he added.
Panelo, who is also Chief Presidential Legal Counsel, explained that acts can only be considered seditious if they incite people to hate a particular public official like the President or incite them to not to follow the laws. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency