It was supposed to be a quiet, third “Black Friday Protest” of the group of former DSWD secretary Dinky Soliman at Baywalk. Just a stroll along the park, do a “thumbs down sign” protest, and that’s it for the Black and White Movement.
Unfortunately for Soliman and Black and White Movement Lead Convenor Enteng Romano, they both ended up in a police car only to be brought and detained for almost six hours at the Manila Police Department Headquarters along UN Avenue.
The past two protests of the group at Starbucks in Makati and at the MRT Ortigas station were relatively quiet. The police just allowed them to their thumbs down sign. In fifteen minutes or so, it was all over. It was just their way of showing their disgust over the Arroyo administration. They did not force passersby to join their cause. They just wanted to be heard.
Had Police Superintendent Marcelino Pedrozo allowed Dinky and some other thirty Black and White Movement members, things wouldn’t have turned for the worse. But even before the group went out of Aristocrat restaurant where they all met up, Pedrozo said they wouldn’t allow the group to cross Roxas Boulevard.
The police and the justice department say gatherings such Black and White Movement’s must have the necessary permits. But Soliman insists it wasn’t a rally since they didn’t have any banners or placards with them. But the police claim the black shirts they were wearing with the words “Patalsikin na. Now na” were already as good as banners.
Well, in the end, Soliman and Romano who were charged with violation of BP 880 or the Public Assembly Act, were allowed to go home “under the custody of former President Corazon Aquino.”
But then, after Dinky and Enteng, who’s next? Other members of Black and White Movement? I’m pretty sure there will be a fourth Black Friday Protest.
Or maybe even from other groups as well. The media? Some colleagues I’ve talked with are more than willing to join the Black and White Movement. Abangan…