Protests possible over proposed deal with Marcos family

Protests possible in the Philippines over proposed controversial deal with Marcos family. Largest gatherings likely in Metro Manila.

This alert began 31 Aug 2017 07:35 GMT and is scheduled to expire 06 Sep 2017 23:59 GMT.

- Event: Possible protests
- Location: Nationwide, especially Metro Manila
- Time Frame: Indefinite
- Impact: Heightened security, localized traffic disruptions, possible clashes Summary Activist and other groups could organize demonstrations across the Philippines following President Rodrigo Duterte's revelation Aug. 29 that he was considering a possible compromise agreement with the family of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos in exchange for the return of part of their so-called ill-gotten wealth. Many lawmakers, and groups such as the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacanang (CARMMA), are opposed to any such deal, which they claim is a scam and part of the Marcos family's game plan to return to power. If protests materialize, the largest gatherings will probably take place in Metro Manila, likely outside Malacanang Palace or other government buildings or other popular rally sites. Smaller gatherings are also possible in other main cities nationwide.

Authorities will likely increase security near popular protest sites as a precaution. Significant security disturbances are unlikely, though clashes between security personnel and protesters cannot be ruled out. Traffic delays will probably occur near any rally.

Background and Analysis
Ferdinand Marcos remains a hugely controversial figure in the Philippines, as he is believed to have amassed an estimated USD 10 billion fortune and oversaw widespread human rights abuses by security forces during his 20-year rule from 1965 to 1986. The government has managed to recover some of this disputed wealth over the past 30 years through litigation and out-of-court settlements; however, no member of the Marcos family has been tried and jailed for corruption. Duterte has indicated that he would accept the Marcos offer to return part of this wealth to the state coffers and is looking to appoint a retired Supreme Court judge to negotiate with the family on the government's behalf. Protests could intensify if Duterte moves forward on the controversial deal. Duterte has openly supported the Marcos family, and allowed the late dictator's burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes' Cemetery) last November despite large-scale protests across the country.

Advice
Avoid all demonstrations as a precaution. Use caution near government offices and other popular rally sites, especially in Metro Manila. As demonstrations may not be announced in advance, monitor local media for updates. Plan for traffic disruptions near any protests.

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