House issues show-cause order for cops behind US embassy violence
MANILA — The House of Representatives’ human rights committee has issued a show-cause order for two relieved Manila policemen after they snubbed the congressional investigation into the violent dispersal of protesters at the United States Embassy.
Senior Supt. Marcelino Pedrozo, Manila Police District deputy director for operations, and Police Office 3 Franklin Kho of the District Police Security Battalion were ordered to explain why they should not be cited in contempt for their absence on Tuesday.
“We will not take the snub of the hearing of the Human Rights committee sitting down,” Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate said in a briefing.
Another hearing will soon be set for the congressional inquiry.
During the hearing, Zarate noted how the police have “responded even to the support for the government’s statements with fascism.”
He said the inquiry should also lead to a review of Batas Pambansa Bilang 880, or the Public Assembly Act of 1985.
The investigation arose from House Resolution No. 487, filed by members of the militant Makabayan bloc, which said that Manila police under Pedrozo’s command violently dispersed the protesters in front of the United States Embassy on Oct. 19, even when the protest was about to end.
At the time, Moro and indigenous peoples had travelled to Metro Manila to assert their right to self-determination, and express strong support for the Duterte administration’s purportedly independent foreign policy.
The House resolution described as “revolting” Kho’s use of a police mobile car to act as a “battering ram” that plowed into the protesters and injured at least 50 persons. SFM
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