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MANILA, Philippines – The charges filed by the Philippines National Police against the protesters during the State of the Nation Address are filed only to retaliate to the complaints of people’s groups against PNP personnel.
Militant group Bayan, one of the complainants, cited that the PNP reported that the alleged incidents committed by the protesters during the July 28 SONA rally along Commonwealth Avenue only last Friday.
“The belated charges are a retaliation for the complaints that we filed last August 8 before the Commission on Human Rights and the Office of the Ombudsman.
“As can be seen from the police records, the blotter regarding the SONA rally was only done on August 8, 6:20 p.m., on the day we filed the complaints against the PNP. The rally took place 11 days earlier so it is truly strange that the police made the blotter entry only last Friday,” Bayan said.
The group added that it is ready to face the the charges against the protesters through their counsels from the National Union of People’s Lawyers.
“It is clear that it was the PNP who violated the law when they barricaded Commonwealth Avenue and prevented protesters from reaching their destination. It was the PNP who violated the law when it unleashed water cannons against the protesters and when one officer used a taser gun on a father and his daughter at the Sandiganbayan.
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“By operation of law, under BP 880, we had secured a necessary permit when the Quezon City government failed to act on our application within the required number of days after we filed it,” Bayan said.
Among those charged by the PNP for the SONA rally included all sitting representatives from the Makabayan bloc in Congress, former party list representatives such as Satur Ocampo, Teddy Casino and Liza Maza, and private personalities like Mae Paner, alos know as Juana Change; and Dante Jimenez of Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption.