Malacañang has declared September 21 Thursday, which marks the 45th anniversary of the late President Marcos’ declaration of martial law, as National Day of Protest.
President Rodrigo Duterte said Proclamation No. 319 allows people to protest against the shortcomings of the government. The President added that he recognizes the people’s fear and indignation against a repetition of human rights violations and other excesses of the government during Marcos’ martial law. He also ordered the authorities to allow protesters to exercise their freedom of speech, right to peaceful assembly, and to petition the government of redress of grievances. Meanwhile, work in national and local government offices is suspended based on Memorandum Circular No. 26, signed by Acting Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra. Classes in public schools at all levels are likewise suspended on the same date. The suspension of work in private companies and classes in private schools has been left to the discretion of their respective heads.