“Behavior beyond troubling”:
Network speaks up against PNP violent dispersal
A network of civil society organization calls for swift investigation and sacking of police officers who beat-up and ran over throng of the indigenous peoples, students and activist.
“To say that we are aghast at how brutal and violent the PNP has tried to disperse the protestors in front of the U.S. Embassy on Wednesday, October 19 is an understatement,” the statement of the group said.
LIGHT A CANDLE FOR PEACE. PMPI, as a member of iDEFEND, calls on respect of human rights during one of its mobilizations against involvement of police on the rise of killings of suspected drug dealers and users. Photo: Candy Lachica
The Philippine Misereor Partnership, Inc. (PMPI), a network of NGOs, People’s Organization and faith-based groups across the Philippines, on Monday released a statement saying that the behavior of the Philippine National Police in the past months has gone “beyond troubling.”
“How the protesters were treated as they were about to end the mobilization’s program has surely has breached any actions that can be humanely justified,” PMPI Convener Arlene Lusterio said.
The statement demanded explanation why our men and women in uniforms have turned rabidly violent and intolerant to any show of dissent.
“We are concerned that this kind of behavior is bolstered by the President’s assurance that they will never be censured for doing their “job” in the line of duty as well as his public pronouncements giving the police almost a blanket authority to kill the so-called criminals,” PMPI National Coordinator Yoly Esguerra lamented.
Peace and development work roadblock
Lusterio, who is also activist architect for urban poor housing projects, added that this behavior goes against the priority of this administration for peace-building and development of communities.
“The law enforcer’s behavior is contrary to the current government’s efforts to a ceasefire and dialogue with insurgents. If this administration wants the peace initiatives to succeed, the President must lead teaching our police and armed forces tolerance for civilian dissent and to put in their daily mantra respect and high regards for civilian supremacy,” she said.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in his speech in Isabela on Sunday, October 23 said that there are “bad eggs” in line the of service, including police forces.
“Make a scene if you are being abused. Slap them. Tell them you refused to be abused in your own land,” he addressed the nation.
PMPI through its National Coordinator, however, reiterated that the administration must be the first to teach the police and the armed forces to “practice restraint and show respect towards civilians.”
“Even as we commend the institution’s move to immediately relieve the 9 policemen from their post a day after, a mere suspension for these police officers shall not be enough,” Esguerra emphasized.
The network demands for an independent investigation and swift justice to ensure that these “bad eggs” are out of service.
“Heads must roll so that this kind of police brutality shall never happen again. Men and women in uniform are law enforcers: they are never above the law,” Esguerra said.