Netizen Even Demata posted on Facebook a photo of rallyists who were apparently part of the protests that went on during Pres. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) on June 27, 2015 in Quezon City. These rallyists were allegedly paid after the speech.
Demata noticed that when media cameras were on these people, they were very expressive and active in fighting off the police who were there, but once the mediamen had left, they were just calm and quiet, “tameme” as described by Demata. After the event, the rallyists were seen lining up and receiving money. One of the said paid protesters is seen wearing an Anakpawis shirt. It is a party-list known for its radical pro-labor and peasant stand.
Paid protesters aren’t a new concept or idea in Philippine politics. Much like vote-buying, citizens who are not interested in nor aware of politics or current events. They are in need of instant cash are easily swayed. Joining a rally for a few hours and getting paid right after seems like a quick and easy way to get by for at least one day.
While there is no proof in the post that some of the protesters during the SONA were indeed paid, it wouldn’t hurt to keep an eye out for such acts.
Updates to follow if and when Anakpawis releases their statement regarding the matter.