A ranking police official warned groups individuals against conducting violent and illegal protest actions amid reports of rallies when both the Senate and the House of Representatives start the canvassing of votes for presidential and vice presidential candidates on Tuesday, May 24.
Police Maj. Gen. Valeriano de Leon, director of the PNP Directorate for Operations, said that while they will exercise maximum tolerance, protesters should also observe rules that include seeking the permit from concerned local government units (LGUs), as well as ensuring that they would be able to police their own ranks.
“We will allow protest actions if these are conducted in freedom parks. We are governed by rules so any protest action should have been allowed by the LGUs if the rally is outside the freedom parks,” said De Leon.
Some groups and individuals are planning to conduct protest actions over allegations of electoral fraud during the national and local elections on May 9. The Commission on Elections, however, denied the allegations.
De Leon stated that the PNP will deploy enough police forces to ensure peace and order in front of the Senate in Pasay City and the House of Representatives in Quezon City.
He said that the Civil Disturbance and Management (CDM) platoons would be ready to make sure that any protests were peaceful.
De Leon appealed to the protesters to seek permits from LGUs and to police their own ranks to prevent unnecessary clashes with the PNP’s CDM units.
“Otherwise, it’s either we disperse them or arrest the organizers, because this may disrupt peace and order if protest actions are not done in the proper time, in the proper place and in the proper way,” said De Leon.