By Jennylou Canon and Kaela Patricia Gabriel


Protesters in and out of the country have set their calls, hours before President Rodrigo Duterte's sixth and final State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 26.

A group of protesters have gathered inside the University of the Philippines - Diliman (UP) with the theme of "Goodbye, Duterte," where they built effigies of the president, portraying him as a gecko wanting to have a tight grip on power.

An estimated 2,750 protesters also began marching to Commonwealth Avenue this Monday afternoon while 15,000 Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel were deployed to ensure the peacefulness of the rallies.

Among these protesters are activist groups such as Bayan, Karapatan, and Anakbayan.

Meanwhile, in New York City, protesters have also gathered at the Philippine Consulate expressing their dismay on the Duterte administration's war on drugs and poor pandemic response.

According to the protesters, Duterte's "incompetence" left them with no choice but to march the streets amid the threat of COVID-19.

Defying the risk of the virus, protesters observed minimum health standards in staging their dissent as Duterte's last SONA will be held in the middle of the raging pandemic.

Report sources: Rappler, ANC, CNN Philippines