Troublemakers? PNP must look at own ranks, other State actors – Karapatan
MANILA, Philippines — A human rights group has slammed the Philippine National Police (PNP) for saying it would “most probably” conduct random inspections of protesters’ belongings on Monday, July 22, the day President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA).
According to Karapatan, such a plan of the PNP violates citizens’ right to privacy as well as the right to peaceful assembly and association.
“This is not just a scare tactic or an act of harassment. Random inspections of protesters directly violate constitutional provisions and international human rights instruments pertaining to citizens’ right to privacy, to peaceful assembly and association,” the human rights advocacy group said in a statement on Thursday.
Karapatan assured that rallies set for Duterte’s Sona on Monday will be peaceful, adding that police force should instead “look at their own ranks and that of other State actors” for troublemakers.
“The rallies on Monday will be held peacefully by all groups and sectors. The PNP should instead look at their own ranks and that of other State actors if they’re looking for instigators of violence,” Karapatan said.
Earlier Thursday, PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde said law enforcers will be stricter in implementing security measures during Duterte’s Sona.
“Most probably, the NCRPO [National Capital Region Police Office] will be conducting random inspections on the backpacks of participants, ng protesters doon [on the protesters there]. For their own safety ‘yung ginagawa nating ito [We are doing this for their own safety],” he said in a press conference at Camp Crame in Quezon City.
Albayalde said around 15,000 police officers and force multipliers will be deployed within Metro Manila – 9,000 of whom will be assigned in Quezon City where the Batasang Pambansa is located.
Duterte is slated to deliver his fourth Sona at the Batangan Pambansa on July 22 at 4 p.m. /kga
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.