• Thousands of activists from different parts of the country will go to Manila for Duterte’s first SONA
  • Members of Bayan said they will express their support for Duterte but will still call for the social issues still neglected by the government
  • Bayan earlier said that leftist groups would not burn effigies of the president that is traditionally done during the SONA

Even without the traditional effigy burning, thousands of activists from different parts of the country will head to Manila to express their issues before the government during President Rodrigo Duterte’s first State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 25.

More than 9,000 members of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) from Southern Luzon, Bicol and Mindanao will go to Batasang Pambansa, said an Inquirer story published July 23.

The members have met in Calamba, Laguna on Saturday morning. They were welcomed by Bayan-NCR leaders in Muntinlupa City.

Despite their support for the Duterte administration, who has sought lasting peace talks with the left movement – National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), they will still express their calls for a real change for the marginalized sectors.

Bayan-NCR spokesperson Mark Louie Aquino said that there are still key issues that needs action from the government such as the K-12 system, power shortage,  and labor contractualization, among others.

They also denounce the rising extra-judicial killings that started after Duterte raged an all-out war against drugs.

“We support the campaign to end drug crimes, but lately we’ve been seeing a pattern that most of those being killed are just small-time players,” Aquino said; adding that they will give the president his first 100 days to “prove himself.”

According to a GMA News Online story, the thousand-strong movement will be transported to the House of Representatives vicinity via 150 buses.