Respect us too, top cop tells Sona protesters
“We respect your rights, so respect ours.”
Philippine National Police Director General Ricardo Marquez has bemoaned the mauling of two undercover policemen during the protest rallies that accompanied the State of the Nation Address (Sona) of President Benigno Aquino III on Monday, saying that it was “wrong and unacceptable.”
He said charges would be lodged against those who beat up Chief Insp. Antonio Ananayao Jr. and PO1 Reden Malagonio.
The two—intelligence operatives at the National Capital Region Police Office—were set upon by militants who caught them taking their pictures.
The policemen were in civilian clothes when protesters apprehended them, making a “citizen’s arrest” and demanding identification.
The two received a severe beating and lost their cell phones.
Marquez said the authorities had allowed the protesters on the eastbound lane of Commonwealth Avenue to hold their program and express their views.
“That was too much. They should have respected the rights of our lawmen who were carrying out their duties in a democratic society. That’s not acceptable, that’s wrong,” the new PNP chief said Tuesday.
He visited Ananayao at the PNP General Hospital in Camp Crame where he is confined with head injuries.
Marquez said the two policemen were monitoring the rally for saboteurs who might infiltrate the mass action and “change its complexion.”
“Sometimes there are infiltrators who have no objective and mission but to incite violence,” he said.
Meanwhile, members of a militant group returned the shields of antiriot policemen they had seized during a scuffle outside the Batasang Pambansa on Monday.
The Cubao police station, which has jurisdiction over Santolan Road where Camp Crame’s Gate 2 is located, took custody of the 10 shields and protective gear.
Returned with the items were two cell phones members of Karapatan said they confiscated from the two undercover policemen they “apprehended” on Commonwealth Avenue.
But PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor said the return of the items “does not absolve the protesters of the offense they committed against the policemen.”
“We recognize the intention but we suggest they return the belongings to the persons they got them from… we will still pursue appropriate cases against the demonstrators involved,” he said.
Doris Cuario of Karapatan said they returned the items to show they were not thieves.
“We want to show the PNP chief that we are honest and follow the law,” she said.