NCRPO denies hatching operation at QC office of Ibon Foundation
MANILA, Philippines — The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) denied on Friday that it was hatching an operation at the office of Ibon Foundation in Quezon City, after the policy research group claimed it received a phone call from a supposed policeman that an “ocular inspection” will be conducted in their office.
Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas, acting chief of the NCRPO, said in a press briefing that all directors of the five Metro Manila police districts denied any plans to launch the supposed operation.
“Hindi po totoo ‘yun at negative po sa atin ‘yun [It is not true, that’s negative],” he said.
Ibon Foundation earlier said it received a phone call at about 3 p.m. Thursday from a person who identified himself as Col. Joaquin Alva that a warrant of arrest will be served against an alleged tenant in their office building. The person also claimed being from the NCRPO.
The person at the Ibon office told the caller that the man named in the warrant does not hold office there, but the caller insisted the police will still go for ocular inspection.
But upon checking, Sinas said Col. Alva is no longer from the NCRPO. A report said Alva is now the chief of staff of the Philippine National Police Legal Service and that he left the NCRPO eight years ago.
Sinas said it is possible that someone only used the name of Alva in making the phone call.
He added that the Ibon Foundation can also coordinate with the police so that authorities can address their concern.
The group had condemned the supposed notice through a statement, saying that it is part of the Duterte administration’s “worsening crackdown on activists upholding human rights and so critical of retrogressive policies and authoritarian governance.”
Around 60 activists have been recently arrested in separate raids in Negros and Manila. Guns and explosives were allegedly recovered from them.
Sinas, however, said the police does not target any group but only operates against personalities who have unlicensed weapons.
The police official accused these groups crying of planted evidence and trumped-up charges to be “imagining things.”
“Hindi po namin ugali magtanim dahil tinuruan kami magpulis [It is not our practice to plant evidence because we were trained to be policemen],” he said. /jpv
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.