On July 23, 2019 the website of the Philippine News Agency posted an article titled "Army provided food to abandoned, hungry anti-State of the Nation Address (SONA) ral
On July 23, 2019 the website of the Philippine News Agency posted an article titled "Army provided food to abandoned, hungry anti-State of the Nation Address (SONA) rallyists, written by Nef Luczon . The same story has been rehashed by the Presidential Communications (Government of the Philippines) facebook page on August 4, 2019.
This obvious propaganda aims to depict the Army as the heroic, good-hearted Samaritans, and the organizers of the rally in Malaybalay City on July 22 as the evil, cold-heated antagonists.
Nothing can be further from the truth.
When the article claimed that "Early birds were welcomed by singing soldiers who were ahead in the Capitol grounds", it actually means the soldiers blasting loud music and trying to prevent the rallyists from conducting legal and peaceful assembly.
The article claimed that there was confusion when "protest leaders decided to change the venue". They conveniently failed to include that the soldiers have blocked the road with their truck, preventing the rallyists from conducting the program where it was originally scheduled.
It is true that some of the rallyists were given food. Food that was paid by the taxes of the people, and should be used for the people. And this will not prevent them from participating in rallies to demand for their democratic rights and interests.
But the soldiers seem to believe otherwise. Seeing those who were given food still joining the rally, one soldier was heard saying that they should have put poison on the food. They have also publicly berated the rallyists for still joining the rally after receiving food.
After the program, the organizers of the rally were the last to leave and ensured every member of the rallyists was able to catch a ride home.
We challenge the Philippine Army to focus on investigating abuses by their soldiers in Bukidnon and other parts of the country instead of wasting their funds in these baseless propaganda. It would also be for the benefit of the Filipino people if they stand up against China’s intrusion in Filipino territories, instead of training their guns against civilians.