- Militants helped in cleaning up the Batasan street after President Duterte ‘s SONA on Monday
- It was another unlikely sight never seen in previous SONAs of the past administrations
- Duterte even invited the leaders of the activists for a snack in Batasan
In yet another unlikely sight on Monday, militant activists were seen cleaning up the place after President Rodrigo Duterte delivered his first-ever state-of-the-nation address (SONA) before members of 17th Congress at the Batasang Pambansa.
In a series of photographs shared by one Jared Xane Xenos on the Facebook page RODY DUTERTE FOR PRESIDENT MOVEMENT INTERNATIONAL, some protesters (who now prefer to be called ‘supporters’ of Duterte) can be seen cleaning litters and trash in the aftermath of what could be the most peaceful SONA demonstration ever in more than three decades.
The pictures were described by the sharer as part of the so-called “The Duterte Effect”.
“Bayan Muna and other leftist groups cleaned up the street after their rally during President Duterte first SONA. Salute and respect to them,” its caption read.
Monday’s event had seen many firsts in a SONA that has never happened in past four administrations of Aquino, Arroyo, Estrada and Ramos.
One such notable difference is the friendly atmosphere between the militants and the anti-riot cops deployed in the area to maintain peace and order.
Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ Dela Rosa himself showed up to assure the protesters that his men are there to protect them, not to hurt them.
Dela Rosa also ordered his troops to lay down their shields and just “relax” while waiting for President Rodrigo Duterte to deliver his SONA.
In one instance the PNP chief is seen shaking the hands of Bayan Muna Secretary General Renato Reyes who earlier promised to do away with the traditional burning of effigies at the demonstration.
After the event, Duterte is pictured sharing a meal with leaders of the militant groups including Reyes, who admitted he was surprised by the President’s invitation.