Photo credit to Marc Balmores

In what the Philippine National Police (PNP) described as a remarkable display of peaceful and orderly street activities, the second State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. proceeded without any gun ban violations or serious violent incidents. The success was attributed to thorough coordination and preparations, ensuring zero violence between pro and anti-government rallyists and maintaining harmony between law enforcement and protesters.

Col. Jean Fajardo, the PNP spokesperson, highlighted the importance of the meticulous preparations and the flawless execution of the security plan, which was achieved through close coordination with local government units and other agencies. “The cooperation of the general public also played a significant role in maintaining peace and order, particularly in all engagement areas,” she added.

Photo credit to Philippine National Police

Throughout Monday morning, the PNP closely monitored around 3,000 protesters and approximately 1,500 supporters of the Marcos administration. Their activities spanned from the convergence points in Manila and Quezon City to the final march and event held near the Batasang Pambansa, where President Marcos delivered his speech.

To bolster security measures, the PNP deployed approximately 22,000 policemen, backed by personnel from various government agencies such as the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, the Bureau of Fire Protection, and the local government units.

As part of their efforts, the PNP implemented a 24-hour gun ban in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, and Region 4A. However, this restriction is expected to be lifted at midnight following the peaceful conclusion of the SONA.

Police Brig. Gen. Jose Melencio Nartatez, Jr., director of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), lauded the seamless deployment of personnel and security measures from the outset. He did acknowledge an incident where two policemen were confronted by protesters who alleged that the officers had infiltrated their ranks and were capturing images of them. Remarkably, the policemen did not resort to violence, adhering to the Chief PNP’s directive to exercise maximum tolerance.

Photo credit to Philippine Star

Nartatez expressed satisfaction with the overall security operation deployment, asserting that it contributed to the successful and smooth delivery of the SONA.

The exemplary handling of the event by the PNP received commendations from various sectors, with many praising the police force’s commitment to maintaining peace and respecting the rights of demonstrators. The collaborative efforts among different government agencies, under the guidance of the PNP, were lauded for their efficiency in ensuring a peaceful atmosphere during the SONA.

Members of the public, rallyists, and authorities alike acknowledged that open communication and cooperation were key factors in achieving a peaceful outcome. The PNP’s emphasis on proper coordination helped ease tensions and create an environment conducive to peaceful demonstrations.

Photo from the President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s official Facebook Page

In conclusion, the SONA 2023 marked a significant achievement for the Philippine National Police as they successfully facilitated a peaceful and orderly event. Through meticulous preparations and skillful coordination with various government entities, the PNP demonstrated its commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of all participants. The positive outcome was a testament to the power of collaboration and adherence to the principle of maximum tolerance, setting a precedent for future public gatherings and demonstrating that a secure and peaceful environment is achievable with proper planning and communication.