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Protests greet Aquino’s 4th Sona

Published July 22, 2013, 5:52 p.m. PHT

Last updated Aug. 8, 2013, 8:14 a.m. PHT

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Quezon City, the Philippines (JPR) — These people are really determined to express what they say is the true state of the nation.

Photos: #SONA2013 Protests

Even without rally permits, groups from different sectors of society marched along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City on the day set for President Benigno Aquino III to deliver his fourth state of the nation address.

Full Text: President Aquino’s Station of the Nation Address 2013 (English)

These groups say that the economic growth Aquino is proud of can only be felt by the ruling elite.

For them, the true state of the nation is this: there is widening gap between the rich and the poor; rising unemployment and poverty and also increasing prices of basic commodities.

Police tried to appease protesters by welcoming them with a marching band, some flowers, white balloons and smiling policewomen. But the protesters simply ignored them.

Protesters got past the initial line of police officers, and marched on.

However, tension between the two groups broken when the protesters tried to get near the Batasang Pambansa Complex.

The police had no choice but to disperse them.

Despite that, groups continued their rally against the “anti-people policies” of the president.

Reporting from Quezon City, the Philippines, I am Jeric Pena.

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