‘Police have the right not to listen to protesters’

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio February 25,2019 - 01:15 PM

Police at the PRO-7 check on a damaged tarpaulin caused by a commotion with militants on Monday, February 25, 2019. CDN Digital photo | Tonee Despojo

Cebu City, Philippines — If protesters have the right to protest, the police have the right not to listen. 

This was the statement of Chief of the Regional Intelligence Division (RID), Remus Medina of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7) following the dispersal of protesters, who staged a rally at the Camp Sergio Osmeña in celebration of the anniversary of the EDSA Revolution today, February 24, 2019.

“Kung may karapatan sila na i-air out ila concerns, may karapatan din ang police na hindi makinig sa kanila,” said Medina. 

The police played loud music outside Camp Sergio Osmeña during protest, which according to Phoebe Sanchez, the chair of the Karapatan Central Visayas, was a sign of disrespect and a form of curtailing the freedom of speech.

Medina said that the police would listen to the concerns of people done in diplomatic and legitimate manner. 

“Tingin ko sa kanila, they have different views eh,” he added. 

Things got a little heated when protesters, led by BAYAN-Central Visayas, blocked a car from leaving the camp to force the police to stop the music.

According to Superintendent Pedrillo Villamor, the chief of the RHGS, said that the command to play music was ordered by higher officials and was not under their control.

The protestors also attempted to barge inside the gate of the Camp Sergio Osmeña and broke a pole until they were reprimanded by Villamor and Senior Superintendent Oliver Lee of the RCDS.

Lee said that they will investigate on who started the barging of the gate as it resulted to damage of property.

Sanchez said that the action of PRO-7 was in contrary to the celebration of the EDSA People Power Revolution and reflects how democracy is being threatened in the present time.

Medina urged the protesters to avoid violence at all cost during protests and maintain a peaceful for protest so they can freely practice their freedom of speech. /bmjo

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TAGS: anniversary, Central Visayas, EDSA, karapatan, People Power, PRO 7, protest, Protesters, RID

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