THE Manila Police District (MPD) has assured that its members will respect the right of militant groups to express and hold protest actions during the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).
However, MPD spokesperson Supt. Erwin Margarejo warned that those who will disturb the peace and violate laws will be arrested.
He said the MPD will exercise maximum tolerance but will not hesitate to arrest violators.
“We will exercise maximum tolerance, provided that there is no violation of law. And if there is already a violation of law in the mass protest, of course the mandate of the PNP is to protect and preserve. At makakaasa po kayo, that the Manila Police District (MPD) will effect arrest if there is already a violation of law,” Margarejo said.
“We will respect their freedom of assembly, but if there is a violation, we will implement the rule of law,” he added.
It was learned that about 3,500 or 70 percent of the MPD force have been deployed in various areas where activities related to the 31st Asean Summit will be held.
Margarejo said the full alert status of the MPD will remain until November 15.
He also appealed for understanding from those currently checked in at certain five-star hotels where some delegates stay, saying the very rigid security checks in place are for the benefit of everyone.