Fourth SONA generally peaceful – PNP

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The Quezon City Police Chief says there were no untoward incidents during the SONA. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 23) — President Rodrigo Duterte’s fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) proceeded peacefully despite the thousands of people that gathered near the venue, police officials said Tuesday.

“All mass actions carried by cause-oriented groups and some pro-government organization ended peacefully with no major untoward incident reported in all areas of engagement,” said Police General Oscar Albayalde, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief.

The chief said about 5,000 to 6,000 rallyists from anti-government and pro-government groups converged along the Commonwealth Avenue up to the Batasan Pambansa Complex in Quezon City where the SONA was held.

Police Brigadier General Joselito T Esquivel Jr., Quezon City police Director, attributed the safe conduct of the event to the coordination between police and the rallying groups.

“There were no arrests of rallyists or protesters and no confrontations between police and gathered crowds, because of mutual understanding and cooperation between the police and various cause-oriented groups and also the support of other stakeholders,” he said.

The PNP deployed 14,000 personnel to secure Metro Manila on Monday. More than 8,000 of these officers were assigned to Quezon City alone.