CCPO drowns Sangguniang Kabataan prayer rally with loud music
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Loud music blared through the prayer rally of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Cebu City Federation outside the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) headquarters in Camp Sotero Cabahug on the afternoon of May 12, a day before the local and national elections.
The SK members were outside the camp to protest the arrest of two SK officials from Cogon Pardo who were detained for alleged vote buying on the dawn of Saturday.
Yet as the youths began to pray, the Camp also played disco music with the large speakers facing toward the SK members. The youth began to chant louder as well while their leaders attempt to persuade the police to lower the volume of the music.
However, the CCPO continued to play loud music undeterred by the request of the young SK officials for “respect”.
Jessica Resch, SK Federation president and ex-officio councilor, said that the police action against their peaceful prayer rally was a sign of disrespect to their right for a peaceful protest.
“Makawala respeto gyod nga ing-ani ila ipakita namo. Taas kaayo mig respeto sa pulis unya ing-ana lang mi nila pagtrato. Nihangyo ra gyod baya mi pahinayan. Wala mi nikontra nga wala mi pasudla. Amo lang, magpray lang mi para sa among kauban,” said Resch,
(We lost our respect to the police. We have always place police in high regard, but they treat us badly. We begged them to lower the volume. We did not resist when they did not allowed us in. All we wanted was to pray for our colleagues detained inside.)
Police Colonel Royina Garma, CCPO director, said that she wanted to play loud music inside the camp in order to provide entertainment to her tired staff.
She said that she understood the sentiments of the SK members but she said that praying should be done in churches.
“Bakit? Church ba ito? Doon sila magdasal sa simbahan. (Why? Is this place a church? They should pray in churches),” said Garma.
Resch said that they felt offended by the police, but this did not stop them from continuing to pray and as the loud music blared, they continued to chant their prayers out loud.
The councilor said that their protest was in support to their colleagues and despite the “disrespect” of the police, at least they stood their ground./dbs
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