Alliance of Filipino women, Gabriela, on Monday, Aug. 22, condemned the “harassment” and “physical assault” perpetrated by the Philippine National Police (PNP) from Batasan Police Station 6 against children’s rights advocates on the first day of classes for the School Year (SY) 2022-2023.
The advocates, according to Gabriela, were distributing hygiene kits and food packs in President Corazon Aquino Elementary School (PCAES) when they were “intimidated” and “violently terrorized” by the officers. These advocate groups include Salinlahi Philippines, Alliance for Children’s Concerns, Gabriela, and Gabriela Women’s Partylist.
“What the police did was extremely inhumane! Since when did helping children become a crime? The relief distribution was meant to assist kids and parents who were sent back to school today without assurances and plans from the national government for ensuring safe school reopening,” said Gabriela Secretary-General Clarice Palce.
The “violent and forced” confiscation of materials terrorized not only the advocates but also the beneficiaries, reiterated the women’s group. With these acts, Gabriela highlighted that they will not be taking these matters by sitting down alone.
“We will do all possible legal actions to hold accountable those police officers who threatened our lives and freedom of peaceful assembly,” said Palce, adding that they will file administrative charges against "abusive" police officers and will bring this matter to the office of Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte.