Nothing irregular in police raids – Panelo

Published November 7, 2019, 5:29 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Genalyn Kabiling

Malacañang has found nothing irregular in the police raids in the offices of some militant organizations that led to the arrest of several individuals.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo explained that the government has a duty to enforce the law and investigate suspected criminal activity.

“The government policy is always to investigate complaints on criminal activities and if they have evidence, then they will take action,” he said at a Palace press briefing Thursday.

Asked if there was nothing wrong with the government tagging groups with suspected rebel links, Panelo said: “Well, if the evidence shows that they have been engaged in criminal activities.”

He also saw nothing wrong with the police surveillance on groups suspected to be engaged in criminal activity.  “That’s supposed to be the duty of the police security if they have basis for surveillance,” he said.

Three alleged leaders of militant groups were recently arrested in an apparent government crackdown on groups with suspected links to the armed communist rebels.

The police conducted a raid at the office of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) in Tondo, Manila early this week.  The operation led to the arrest of three activists and seizure of assorted firearms and ammunition, mobile phones and laptops.

Last week, the offices of progressive groups in the cities of Bacolod and Escalante in Negros Occidental were also raided by the police. More than 50 persons were rounded up by the government forces during the operation.

The concerned groups have deplored the government’s crackdown on critics, including the alleged trumped-up charges against them.