PNP: Zero clash during anti-Sona rally

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014


THE National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) said Tuesday that the police were successful in avoiding a clash with militant groups protesting President Benigno Aquino's State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Monday.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) earlier said the law enforcers committed obvious violations when they used water cannons to manage the protesting militant groups along the Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City.

Gilbert Boiser, CHR representative, said the police "overreacted".

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"May karapatan naman talaga silang magrally dahil may karapatan silang magpahayag, itong mga ito (police) sumobra naman," Boiser said.

Chief Superintendent Carmelo Valmoria, NCRPO chief, justified the use of water cannons, saying militant groups' attempt to break the metal and concrete barricades setup by the police were a threat to the security.

"Hihintayin pa ba natin na masira nila 'yung mga barriers bago tayo magreact? Tapos pag nasira nila iyon ng tuluyan dun na magsisimulang magkasakitan sila ng ating mga police na ireresist sila," he said.

The barricades were setup just few kilometers away from the Batasan Complex where the President delivered his annual speech.

Valmoria said law enforcers were deployed to maintain peace and order.

He said that during the pre-Sona security planning, they have already studied the behavior of militant groups during big rallies, which had been of big help during Monday's anti-Sona protests.

"Doon sa pag-aaral na iyon, kapag nasira na 'yung first line of defense which are the barriers doon na nagkakaroon ng sakitan which lead sa clash nung dalawang panig," he said.

"'Yun ang pinagisipan naming, kung paanong hindi nila masisisra ang first line of defense at ang sagot doon ay ang paggamit ng water cannons that would cause no harm to anyone," he added.

Unlike in the previous Sona, Valmoria said policemen and protesters went home on Monday without cuts and bruises.

"Overall, I am satisfied sa aming inihandang security measures and proud ako sa aking mga tao," he said. (Sunnex)

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