Poe seeks Senate probe of the US embassy dispersal
Senator Grace Poe has filed a resolution seeking a Senate investigation into the violent dispersal and “ruthless plowing” of protesters outside the US Embassy in Manila on Wednesday.
In Senate Resolution No. 210, Poe urged the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs chaired by Senator Panfilo Lacson to conduct the probe aimed at formulating measures that would ensure the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) compliance with its own rules of engagement, deter the use of excessive force during public assemblies and ensure accountability.
“Though it could be argued that the protesters might have crossed the line at some point during the violent dispersal, it is clear that the act of repeatedly ramming over numerous protesters with a police van without due regard to their presence and safety is an act worthy of utmost condemnation and should be labeled barbaric and illegal,” Poe said in a statement on Thursday.
In the resolution, the senator reminded the government of its prime duty “to serve and protect the people, to maintain peace and order, to protect life, liberty and property, and the promotion of the general welfare, which are essential for the enjoyment by all the people of the blessings of democracy.”
She said the government was established to protect the people; “thus, its power should not be unleashed against defenseless citizens.”
Poe also pointed out the people’s right, as provided for in the Constitution, to free speech and their right to peaceably assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.
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