Ferro: UP Cebu protest was about the violation of GCQ guidelines

By: Alven Marie A. Timtim - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | June 08,2020 - 05:46 PM
PRO-7 Chief Albert Ignatius Ferro has defended policemen's actions during the dispersal of a protest rally on Friday, June 5, in front of the UP Cebu. | screen grab of video shared with CDN Digital

In this screen capture of a video shared with CDN Digital, police arrest some of the protesters in front the UP Cebu campus on June 5, 2020.

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Police Brigadier General Albert Ignatius Ferro, director of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7), has defended the policemen who arrested  the protesters on the June 5, 2020 anti-terrorism bill protest.

Ferro said it was an issue of the general community quarantine (GCQ) violation.

Ferro debunks the recent statement from the University Of the Philippines Cebu which denounced police trespassing when some policemen entered the UP Cebu grounds to chase after the protesters.

Read: UP Cebu denounces police trespassing in campus

In a teleconference with the press this morning, Ferro said that the first ones to violate the UP laws were the protesters after they had jumped off the fence to get inside the campus.

Ferro said that the policemen only helped the security of the university which closed the gates because the administrator allegedly did not allow the protesters inside the campus.

“Kinsa una nag violate, us or the protestors? We were helping the security. Were they (protesters) authorized to jump the fence?” said Ferro.

Ferro said the incident has always been an issue about the violation of the guidelines of GCQ and not about their freedom of expression especially since the group did not have any permit to conduct the rally.

He said that the police also gave the group some time to peacefully disperse, but they did not heed this.

On the issue of the policemen wearing civilian clothes who chased after the protesters inside the campus, Ferro said that these were policemen of the detective team who helped the uniformed personnel.

Ferro said the policemen wearing civilian clothes were present to investigate the “truth” of the matter — if it was indeed a mass protest.

As of today, the case of the seven arrested protesters and one bystander, have been forwarded to the court.

The counsel of the group announced that all initial filed charges were bailable./dbs

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TAGS: Ferro, GCQ, PRO 7, protest, UP-Cebu, violation

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