Organizers of an interfaith prayer rally believed they were able to send their message calling for revolutionary government towards federalism during the event at Mendiola, Manila on Sunday night.
“It was very successful. We met our point. The people have spoken. Pati ang OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) ay overwhelming ang support (Even the OFWs have shown overwhelming support),” said Abner Malabanan, secretary general of People’s National Coalition (PNC), in an interview with the Philippine News Agency on Monday.
The prayer rally was supposed to be held at 8 a.m. on Sunday but was reset to 6 p.m. upon request of the Manila Police District (MPD) due to lack of permit and restrictions on social gatherings.
Though the program was cut short, Malabanan said it is important they were able to achieve their objective.
Malabanan, also spokesperson of the Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte -National Executive Coordinating Committee (MRRD-NECC), said the decision to shorten the program was a consensus between the group and the Philippine National Police after people started gathering at Mendiola early Sunday.
As they called for reforms, he said they should set a good example and decided to follow the instruction of the authorities so as not to put at risk the health of the people who joined the rally.
“Ang importante nakita natin the whole country is in motion, pinakita natin na seryosong nananawagan tayo (What is important is that we were able to show that the whole country is in motion, we were able to show that we are serious in our call),” Malabanan said.
He said federalism is one of President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign promises in the 2016 elections and that the PNC MRRD-NECC believes this is right to time to fulfill that promise.
Malabanan, however, clarified that they are not blaming Duterte for the delay in transforming the country’s current form of government into a federal one “as there is also a process that needs to be followed”.
After the program was halted on Sunday, he said the group decided to continue it through a motorcade.
He said the group’s formal declaration calling for revolutionary government towards federalism will be sent to Duterte and leave the decision to him.
Malabanan thanked all their supporters from different parts of the country for spending time and money just to join the interfaith prayer rally and for supporting the call for a federal form of government
Source: Philippines News Agency