President to attend three activities including meet with mayors
Protests and rains will welcome President Rodrigo Duterte in today’s Cebu visit.
Jayme Paglinawan, Bayan-Central Visayas head, said around 100 of them would gather in one of the venues of the presidential visit to protest against the implementation of the Train Law and plans to amend the Constitution.
Paglinawan said the Train law would only make the poor even poorer while the administrations Charter Change plans would expand political dynasty in the country and even lead to another dictatorship.
“Among ipasalig nga usa ka malinawong protesta ang among pagabuhaton,” Paglinawan told Cebu Daily News in a phone interview.
Meanwhile, the weather bureau warns protesters about the possibility of scattered rain showers that might affect Cebu today as a result of a tropical storm that is expected to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Sunday night and bring rains in parts of Mindanao and the Visayas on Monday. (See separate story)
Duterte will attend three events in his Cebu visit – the launching of the Malasakit Center inside the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) compound, the turnover of brand new vehicles, and a meeting with Visayas and Mindanao mayors.
At the VSMMC event, Duterte will unveil the dedication plate and inspect the Malasakit Center, which is a one-stop shop for Cebuanos that need assistance from government agencies for their hospital expenses.
It will be followed by a short program in the hospital where he will witness the ceremonial turnover of computer units to seven public schools from the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry donors.
During a press briefing yesterday, the Philippine Information Agency (PIA-7) and the MARO said that the President would be coming from Davao, on his way to Cebu.
At least 150 people composed of office staff from the Office of the Provincial Assistant for Visayas (OPAV), and the regional offices of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD-7), Department of Health (DOH-7), Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO-7), and the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PHIC-7) will be attending the turnover ceremony.
President Duterte will then proceed to the Police Regional Office (PRO-7) where he would also turn over 20 units of Mitsubishi Montero Patrol vehicles to the police directors of the cities of Cebu (10 units), Mandaue (five units), and Lapu-Lapu (five units).
The vehicles were donated by Japanese Ambassador Koji Haneda for the Philippines .
Mayors from the three cities as well as Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III will witness the turnover of the vehicles.
Still at the PRO-7, the President will also attend a joint command conference by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) where they will raise their concerns to the President as well as on his directives.
PNP Chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa will also be present during the activities at the PRO-7.
Senior Supt. Julian Entoma, head of the Operations and Planning Division of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7), said they would be deploying 1,300 policemen during the presidential visit.
The policemen will secure the president’s meeting venues and make sure that protesters do not come close.
Contrary to earlier reports, Entoma said, they would not be closing Cebu City roads in today’s presidential visit.
He said they would only close roads to allow the presidential convoy to pass and later re-open these roads.
Paglinawan, for his part, said at least 100 Bayan members coming from the urban poor, workers, womens, farmers and youth sectors will convene along P. del Rosario Street in Cebu City at 9 a.m. today and proceed to one of the president’s meetings venues to air their sentiments against the Train Law implementation and plans to amend the constitution.
They also wanted to call Duterte’s attention on the need to pursue peace talks with the National Democratic Front (NDF) and to hasten the implementation of irrigation projects under the Free Irrigation Service Act which the President signed on Feb. 2, 2018.
“Atong makit-an gyud nga pag sugod sa implementation sa Train Law adtong January 1 ni sirit ang presyo sa mga paliton,” said Paglinawan.
Bayan-Central Visayas, he said, is calling for a suspension of Train Law implementation which he referred to as “anti-poor.”