‘Bato’ tells anti-riot cops: Show love to rallyists
Put aside your battle gear and show militant rallyists some love.
This was Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa’s message to the anti-riot cops deployed to secure President Rodrigo Duterte’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Monday afternoon.
“Sinabi ko sa kanila tanggalin nila ‘yung shield nila, isandal lang kung saan then mag-relax relax na sila diyan. ‘Wag sila magpakita na ready sila na parang aggressive stance,” Dela Rosa told reporters few hours before Duterte’s Sona at the House of Representatives in Quezon City.
(I told them to take off their shields, put them somewhere, and just relax. They should refrain from showing that they are ready or that they are in an aggressive stance.)
“We expect peace. We want to share our love to them. We want to love everyone,” he said.
This was a far cry from how the police geared up for rallies in the past Sona of Duterte’s predecessors.
“Let’s show them we don’t mean to harm anyone, that we want to embrace everyone,” Dela Rosa added.
Before arriving at the PNP’s command post in front of the Batasang Pambansa, the police chief, along with Metro Manila police’s Chief Supt. Oscar Albayalde and QC police’s Senior Supt. Guillermo Eleazar, met with militant leader Renato Reyes on Commonwealth Avenue.
“Nag-usap kami, meet and greet then he told me first time ito in history na ‘yung mga rallyista pinapapasok dito sa Batasan Road tsaka first time na kinausap ko sila,” Dela Rosa said.
(We talked and he told me that it’s the first time in history for the rallyists to be allowed entry on Batasan Road and it was my first time to talk to them.)
He said the protesters, unlike in the past that rallies would turn violent amid a clash with police, were “very satisfied” with their arrangement with the PNP.
The police officials then inspected the civil disturbance management cops lined along the Batasan Road.
As he greeted the cops, Dela Rosa told them to remove their helmets and put aside their shields and truncheons.
Dela Rosa said the police have not monitored any security threats. IDL/rga
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