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Gordon rejects calls for Senate probe on bloody dispersal

  • Written by Bernadette E. Tamayo
  • Published in Nation
  • Read: 246

SENATOR Richard Gordon has rejected calls for the Senate to investigate the recent violent dispersal of protesters in front of the United States Embassy in Manila where both protestors and policemen got hurt.

Several protesters, including members of indigenous people (IP), and policemen were injured after Manila policemen dispersed an anti-US rally near the American Embassy last week.
   
One of the videos showed a policeman driving a mobile patrol vehicle, identified as PO3 Franklin Kho, allegedly trying to run over a group of rallyists. He later explained that he was just trying to “extricate” himself from the protesters who were allegedly out to overturn the police van.
   
Chief Supt. Oscar Albayalde, NCRPO director, has ordered the relief of Senior Supt. Marcelino Pedrozo and eight other Manila Police District officers involved in the dispersal, including Kho.
   
While admitting that there was an excessive use of force during the dispersal, Gordon said the Philippine National Police (PNP) should be allowed to conduct an investigation first and impose sanctions.
   
“I can motu propio conduct an investigation. But let’s give democracy, the rule of law a chance to operate,” said Gordon, chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee.
   
He said the Senate will probe the incident if they find the sanctions against the involved police officers lacking. “Mag-iimbestiga kami kapag hindi nila pinarusahan (’yung mga pulis).”
   
“Hayaan mo sila mag-imbestiga. Ang tawag namin diyan exhaustion of administrative remedies. Kapag ginawa nila ’yun at hindi satisfied ang Senado, iimbestigahan namin ’yun,” said Gordon
    
He said the PNP chief, the National Capital Regional Police Office chief, and the PNP regional director have summary powers to expel and suspend erring PNP members.