NATIONAL Capital Region Police Office director Chief Superintendent Oscar D. Albayalde yesterday said they are preparing for bigger anti-Marcos demonstrations in Metro Manila in the aftermath of the burial of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani but made it clear they will exercise maximum tolerance in dealing with protesters.
The NCRPO director maintained that police Civil Disturbance Management (CDM) units as always will follow Police Operational Procedures and will not try to break up any street protests as long as they are being done in a peaceful and orderly manner and won’t inconvenience or jeopardize the safety of the general public.
“Rallies in these places can be tolerated as we respect the freedom of assembly, provided that protests would be conducted peacefully and orderly,” he said while maintaining the preparedness of different NCRPO CDM units to respond to any street demonstrations similar to last Friday’s gathering of over 2,000 people at the People Power Monument to vent their anger over the Marcos burial.
Several placard-bearing people also flocked to the EDSA Shrine and the People Power Monument yesterday to denounce the burial of the late Philippine leader.
Albayalde urged leaders of anti-Marcos groups to police their own ranks and get the necessary rally permits from mayors in the metropolis who are required to assign public spaces where people can freely air their grievances as stated under Batasang Pambansa 880. Known opponents of the Duterte administration and the Marcoses reportedly will be joining the planned protests.
The official said they are also ready anytime to augment Army security at the Libingan ng mga Bayani to prevent anti-Marcos protesters from making good their promise to desecrate the late strongman’s tomb and even spit on it.
Security was very tight at the heroes’ cemetery yesterday, as the family of Marcos led by former First Lady Imelda R. Marcos and her children, former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, returned for a mass vigil.
The NCRPO has learned its lessons well as a result of the violent October 19 clashes between Manila Police District CDM units and anti-US activists which led to injuries to dozens of policemen and demonstrators.
Investigators have recommended the filing of appropriate charges against at least four MPD personnel and five street activists in connection with the violent clash.
A Philippine National Police official privy to the investigation ordered by PNP chief Director General Ronald “Bato” M. dela Rosa identified those recommended to be charged administratively as Senior Superintendent Marcelino Pedroso Jr., the MPD deputy district director for operations who was relieved in the aftermath of the violent confrontation; Supt. Albert Barot, the erstwhile MPD Station 5 commander, Police Officer 3 Franklin Kho and Police Officer 1 Fernando Budong.
The PNP investigation team also said that protest leaders Renato Reyes and Nathaniel Santiago of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, Roberto de Castro of Kilusang Mayo Uno, Piya Macling Malayao of Sandugo and Jerome Aba of Suara Bangsamoro may also be held criminally liable for violation of Batas Pambansa 880 or illegal assembly and violation of Articles 148, 265, 266 and 327 of the Revised Penal Code. The five were found to be present at the site and “figured prominently in inducing the demonstrators to commit violent acts against the police.”