It was the Philippine National Police that chose the historic Plaza Miranda in front of Quiapo Church as a “freedom park” where groups could stage protests during Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s inauguration as president on June 30.
Tiktok user @Steffybacs, however, insinuated in a video posted that day that progressive groups deliberately involved the church by staging their rally in front of Quiapo Church. The text overlay of the video showing the protesters says:
Mga rayilista sa Inauguration ni BBM sa harap pa mismo ng Quiapo Church? Pati sagradong simbahan dinamay pa? (Rallyists in front of Quiapo Church during BBM’s inauguration? Why did they involve a sacred church?)
Police Maj. Gen. Valeriano De Leon said in an interview that Plaza Miranda was among the four freedom parks identified by the PNP.
At the 2:10 mark, he elaborated:
They (groups) have the right to air their grievance…but this should be done in freedom parks. We have identified four areas in Metro Manila. We have Plaza Miranda, Plaza Moriones, Plaza Dilao, and Liwasang Bonifacio.
Freedom parks are areas where groups can stage protests without securing a permit as mandated by the Public Assembly Act of 1985.
Protesters were not allowed near the inauguration held at the National Museum.
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) moved its rally from Liwasang Bonifacio to Plaza Miranda after last-minute negotiations with the PNP. Manila Police District said that more or less 500 individuals joined the protest.
According to Bayan, Plaza Miranda “holds historic significance in the anti-dictatorship struggle” as it was also where 50,000 people gathered to denounce the Martial Law declaration by dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr., late-father of the newly inaugurated president.
The TikTok video has over 2,000 views as of writing. (ML)