Activists fire back at PNP: Right to peaceably assemble doesn't discriminate | Inquirer News

Activists fire back at PNP: Right to peaceably assemble doesn’t discriminate

DO THEY WANT TO CONTROL THE CONTENT OF RALLIES, TOO?
/ 09:33 PM June 13, 2022
Activists fire back at PNP: Right to peaceful assembly doesn't discriminate

Bayan secretary-general Renato Reyes. INQUIRER.net FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — An activist group has raised questions over the insinuation of the Philippine National Police (PNP) officer-in-charge that only rallies in support of the incoming administration may be allowed near the inauguration of President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) on Monday said it seems that Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao does not understand that the 1987 Constitution’s Bill of Rights upholding the right to peaceably assemble does not discriminate whether a people’s convergence is in favor or critical of the government.

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Earlier on Monday, Danao was asked if rallies would be allowed near Marcos Jr.’s inauguration site – the National Museum of Fine Arts in Ermita, Manila, to which the PNP OIC said he would even accompany them if they would do so in support of the incoming administration.

READ: Will PNP allow rallyists near Marcos inauguration? Danao says only if they’re shouting ‘mabuhay’

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“General Danao again does not understand the law and believes we should return to the era of Marcosian martial law. He wants the PNP to regulate not just the right to peaceably assemble but also the content of the assembly,” Bayan secretary-general Renato Reyes said.

“Our bill of rights does not discriminate whether an assembly is in favor or critical of the government. Civil liberties are guaranteed whether you are in favor or critical of the government,” he also explained.

The activist leader, who has been critical of PNP’s recent policies regarding protests, also noted that the law provides equal protection for both pro-administration and opposition groups.

“Equal protection under the law demands that those for or opposed to a certain issue are able to freely exercise their rights without discrimination,” Reyes further pointed out.

Last June 6, PNP Director for Operations Maj. Gen. Valeriano de Leon said they would not allow illegal rallyists – or those without permits – to stage protests near Marcos Jr.’s inauguration site.

Bayan countered by saying there is no such thing as an “illegal rallyist” according to the 1987 Constitution and Batas Pambansa Blg. 880, which allows peaceful protests.

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TAGS: Activists, PNP‎, rally, Vicente Danao
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