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Not sabotage! MMDA says early closure of Macapagal Boulevard was the request rally organizers

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The Metro Manila Development Authority on Friday said the closure of Macapagal Boulevard from April 19 to 24 was not made to make things difficult for the supporters of Vice President Leni Robredo, who is set to hold a grand rally there on Saturday.

The MMDA also clarified that the rally organizers themselves sought the road closure, which was approved by the Pasay City government.

It issued the statement to debunk allegations that the road closure was intended to sabotage Robredo.

“Ang pagsasara ay kahilingan ng organizers ng rally na pinayagan ng Pasay LGU at hindi na tinutulan ng MMDA kahit magdudulot ito ng traffic ng limang araw,” it said.

It said the early road closure was not in line with MMDA policy, but it did not object to avoid accusations of bias.

“Ang maagang pagsasara ng Macapagal Boulevard ay labag sa polisiya ng MMDA hinggil sa pagbabawal ng political activities sa mga pangunahing lansangan mula Lunes hanggang Biyernes. Subalit pinahintulutan ito ng ahensiya upang hindi maakusahan ng pagiging ‘bias’ o may kinikilingan. Samakatuwid, hindi patas ang mga ibinabatong akusasyon sa ahensiya na sabotahe ang ginawang pagsara ng kalsada,” it said.

It said portions of the road were closed to make way for the construction of the stage to be used for the grand rally.

The road would also be closed during the rally because of the expected crowd, and would remain closed the following day for the dismantling of the stage, it said.

It also said the traffic plan for the area was crafted by the organizers and the Pasay City government.

“Ang tanging partisipasyon lamang dito ng MMDA ay ang pagpapatupad ng traffic management at pag-aanunsiyo sa publiko patungkol sa road closure upang maiwasan ng mga motorista ang pagdaan sa lugar,” it said.