EditorialLearning experience

Learning experience

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Last Tuesday’s prayer rally at Quezon Park, which turned out to be nothing but an early bird traditional political rally, was a classic example for organizers of how not to do a rally.

The lack of planning and foresight on the part of the organizers left their rally to crumble at the last minute, putting their honorable speakers in an embarrassing fix. 

Maximum tolerance on the part of the police and the local government was their only saving grace, as they marched from the Benigno Aquino Freedom Park at the Capitol area to Quezon Park near City Hall, without any incident.

The organizers had tried to pull off the rally even after the City scrapped their earlier permit because of a sudden change in the agenda from a prayer rally into a political rally, and the change in the group of organizers, leaving the City with not enough time to plan for an expected crowd of 20,000.

Their lack of planning caused the instant relief of our very able Chief of Police Lt. Col. Ronoel Fungo, who voiced concern over the deluge of rallyists expected to come over, while the regional office of the PNP rushed reinforcements over.

With their belief that Batas Pambansa 880, or the Public Assembly Act of 1985, would give them the right to hold a rally anywhere they pleased, the rallyists tried to force their way into Freedom Park as — believe it or not — it was being readied for another activity, putting the Province of Negros Oriental in an awkward position.

Quick thinking on the part of Provincial Administrator Atty. Arthur Tolcidas pointed out that the same law the organizers were banking on also states that activities such as prayer rallies are governed by local ordinances.

With the former President and his former Cabinet officials already in Dumaguete, the embarrassed organizers pinned the blame for their shortcomings on the local government unit of Dumaguete and the provincial government of Negros Oriental, blaming everyone but themselves.

Now, all of us know better. We hope the organizers learned a thing or two from that experience.

And may it never happen again.

 

 

 

 

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