By Martin Sadongdong
After delivering his second State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Duterte made a bold, unprecedented move when he faced thousands of protesters gathered outside the Batasang Pambansa Complex in Quezon City Monday evening.
The crowd urged Duterte to resume the peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).
Duterte pointed out that the killings and ambush of military and police personnel perpetrated by the rebels prompted him to ditch the talks.
Duterte, amid jeers, said the protesters should respects his decision, just as he respects their right to air their grievances.
“Hindi niyo ako matakot sa mga ganyan ganyan dahil galing na ako dyan, hindi niyo ako ma-intimidate. Mag-rally kayo hanggang maubos ang mga boses ninyo pero wag kayong magalit sa akin,” he said.
The rallyists also encouraged Duterte to free “all” of the political prisoners, to which he replied: “Maghintay kayo.”
The President then left the area together with his entourage.