The police are allowed to use “reasonable force” on individuals who resist arrest during mass gatherings, President Duterte said late in his taped briefing that aired on late Wednesday night, May 26.
In his public address, the President warned village chiefs that he will let the police enter their jurisdiction if they cannot do their job of stopping mass gatherings in their barangays. Duterte also earlier asked the police to arrest them for “dereliction of duty.”
Duterte told barangay chiefs that they are like the president in their jurisdiction and that all he can do is “direct everybody.”
“Ngayon (Now), the police must play an important role. Do not be afraid, I mean, to use — you can use force. Ito ha (To be clear), reasonable force,” Duterte said.
The Chief Executive added that the police must only use force if the people will refuse to come with them peacefully.
“You can do that because you have to overcome,” Duterte said, telling the police not to be afraid because he will intervene if they are charged for doing their jobs.
The President warned that charging the police for doing their jobs is not about “human rights.”
“Hindi na istorya ng human rights ‘yan (That’s not a story of human rights). So better ‘yong (the) human rights must study their law also,” Duterte said.
The police who are abusive are the ones who should be imprisoned “and the police that will confront him must also use reasonable force.”
Duterte said he will not allow his police to be afraid to do their jobs because of the possibility of facing human rights cases.
“Kasi walang mangyari sa gobyerno ko, mainutil kasi ang pulis ayaw nang gumalaw kasi baka mademanda sila (Nothing will happen to my government because the police will become inutile and they won’t like to do their work because they might get charged),” he added.
“Then, I say, and for all the armed forces na nagtatrabaho (working): Do not be afraid because pagka’t (because)— when you are on the right side of the law, I will be there to help you.”