The Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) criticized the very tight security employed by the police by installing razor sharp wires along Commonwealth Ave. to keep the protesters away from Batasan Complex in time for the President’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) this afternoon, July 22.

“Maybe President Aquino is too insecure of his performance to resort to installing those barbed wires kilometers away from where he is going to deliver his SONA” Daisy Arago, Executive Director of CTUHR asked.

Arago also said that such security measure is ominous of what is forthcoming to those who refused to be lured if not fooled by the rosy picture of SONA which [Pres. Aquino] wants the nation to believe.

“The razor sharp wires sharply show that P-Noy is willing to listen only to those who agree to what he has to say and is meant to harm those who are critical or opposed to his administration’s programs and policies. And clearly, it is the protesting people largely coming from the marginalized section of society whom the government is trying to bar.”  Arago said.

Thousands of protesters coming from various sectors—workers, peasants, students, professionals, women, urban poor among others—is staging a rally to demonstrate the “real” state of the nation.

“Surely, the President will boast again of the growing economy, the administration’s fight against corruption, its public private partnership and 4Ps program. But alongside these so-called achievements, unemployment remains high at over 10%, the gap between the poor and the rich is widening and the human rights situation is still appalling,” Arago added.

Arago also said that in the last three years of this administration, “we have seen how the interest of the capitalists, foreign investors, and foreign allies such as the US has been favored by the Philippine government over national sovereignty and the welfare of the people.” Arago cited the Balikatan exercises, the move to change the Constitution to allow full foreign ownership of land and property, higher prices for basic utilities, and dismantling of homes and displacement of the poor as some glaring examples pro-rich, pro-US and neo-liberal policies of the administration.

“The worsening situation for the majority of Filipinos will definitely prompt the people to question, if not reclaim, the Aquino administration’s authority. But unless the administration realizes that he is walking the wrong path and reverses his anti-people policies, then more and bigger protests will surely flood the roads leading to Batasan and Malacanang no matter how sharp and strong wires those barricades are made of.”  Arago said.###