Philippine National Police chief Police Gen. Archie Gamboa said in an ANC interview on July 29, Wednesday that although they “tolerate” protests, dissenters should not exercise their chartered independence “too much.”
Some SONA protesters were arrested for breaching quarantine rules, the chief clarified. He said that the arrest of various protest groups outside the University of the Philippines was not related to the controversial, recently passed Anti-Terrorism Law.
“Look at the basis for the arrests. It’s [a] violation of quarantine protocols. We need to contextualize it. Right now, we say if you want to protest, it has to be in UP,” said Gamboa.
Sinas’ mananita now a ‘closed issue’
The PNP chief said that the birthday mañanita of National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas is already a closed issue. But the complaint filed in the Taguig City Prosecutor’s Office says otherwise.
Sinas and 18 other police officers are currently facing criminal charges for allegedly violating the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act and Taguig City Ordinance No. 12 Series of 2020.
Eviction of the family of a retired police officer is ‘rightful’
On July 22, Sinas was caught in another controversy when he and other armed cops attempted to displace the family of retired Police Executive Master Sgt. Arnel Delos Santos in a compound in Taguig.
Delos Santos called for harassment as the armed group didn’t bring any legal documents when they attacked, but Gamboa said what PNP did was only “rightful.”
PNP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac claimed that they’ve been urging Delos Santos to relocate since two years ago. Banac said the compound where the retired police officer resides is government-owned and that a quarantine facility for PNP personnel is to be put up in the area.
Header photo from the Philippine National Police Facebook page
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Writer: KLEO CATIENZA