Lacson says protest by urban poor residents in QC should be probed | Inquirer News
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Lacson says protest by urban poor residents in QC should be probed

/ 02:19 PM April 02, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Was the protest in Quezon City a “valid hunger-driven spontaneous act” or a “politically instigated act of violence” by “sinister groups?”

These were the points raised by Senator Panfilo Lacson on Thursday, adding that the incident should be investigated by authorities.

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Lacson also called President Rodrigo Duterte’s “shoot” warning against those who will cause trouble during the enhanced community quarantine as “exaggerated” and “harsh.”

“But coming from this President, what else is new?” Lacson, a former chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) said in a statement.

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“Having been immersed in intelligence and law-enforcement work for more than two decades in my previous life, I couldn’t help but suggest to authorities to thoroughly investigate if the ‘riot’ in Quezon City involving protesters demanding aid – but in violation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine – was indeed a valid ‘hunger-driven’ spontaneous act of people who simply lost their patience out of exasperation, or a politically instigated act of violence by sinister groups out to take advantage and destabilize the administration and duly constituted authority,” Lacson added.

Concerned authorities may opt to look into the possibility that Wednesday’s incident could just have been “a ‘dry run’ to test public sentiment as well as the ability of law enforcers to respond,” the senator said.

“At least one group, Kadamay, has posted on its Facebook page an ‘invitation’ to an event scheduled for April 1,” he noted.

However, Lacson pointed out that not all protests during the month-long quarantine imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) “should be presumed as politically instigated.”

“Yet, it cannot be denied that there may be groups with a motive to exploit the volatility of the situation to advance their own political agenda,” he added.

According to reports, around 100 people from an urban poor community in Barangay Pag-asa in Quezon City flocked to one side of Edsa Wednesday morning demanding food and other assistance.

Some 20 protesters were arrested for staging the rally without a permit.

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Following the protest, the urban poor group Kadamay, which has members in the urban community, said the arrest of the residents showed a gross lack of social services and compassion to those greatly affected by the lockdown.

Meanwhile, Senator Ronald dela Rosa appealed to “leftist people especially Kadamay to stop agitating the poor.”

“COVID-19 knows no boundaries in the political spectrum. We should unite and not divide the people,” Dela Rosa, who is also a former PNP chief, said in a message to reporters.

“(President Rodrigo Duterte) is addressing the delays or favoritism in the distribution of assistance by removing said task from the politicians and giving it to (Department of Social Welfare and Development) instead,” he added.

/MUF

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TAGS: coronavirus disease, COVID-19, Luzon lockdown, Nation, News, Quezon City riot, Senator Pangilo Lacson, Senator Ronald dela Rosa
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