The Million People March held in Luneta on August 26 was generally peaceful and no emergency incident was reported, said the Philippine National Police.
Thousands of concerned Filipinos calling for the abolition of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) following reports of corruption attended the ‘picnic protest.’ The event was held on Heroes Day, a holiday, and was spread through social media.
Personnel from the Philippine National Police (PNP) were present to maintain peace. Also, security guards in the vicinity of Rizal Park augmented the event’s security. No untoward incident was reported during the march. Bomb squads were also deployed around the vicinity particularly near Quirino Grandstand were most of the activities were held.
“Good Day” for Emergency Responders
Meanwhile, another feature of yesterday’s protest in Luneta was the deployment of numerous volunteer emergency response groups.
Volunteers from the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) told SecurityMatters that no emergency incident took place. No incident of people fainting or getting dizzy was reported – such incidents are common in mass gatherings. Volunteers from the PRC attributed this to cool and cloudy weather which remained throughout the day. PRC volunteers narrated that only some people went to their first aid stations to have their blood pressure checked. Also, some people went to ask for band aids because of “paltos” or foot blisters attributed to long periods of standing and walking. The PRC has deployed over 150 personnel, 10 ambulances, and six first aid stations around the venue particularly in Quirino Grandstand.
Volunteers from Rescue 926, one of the emergency response organizations, said to SecurityMatters that being stationed in Luneta was a “good deployment” because nothing bad happened or there was no incident where emergency medical service was required.
Whenever there are mass gatherings, volunteer emergency medical responders are always present to augment the emergency units of the government. During the Million People March, they took part in the historic event by ensuring that the participants, young and old alike, could safely conduct their activities in expressing their sentiments on the PDAF. The medical responders were ready to provide attendees with medical services should the need arise – it was fortunate that on that day, they didn’t have to attend to any emergency.