DAVAO City Police Office (DCPO) denied the harassment allegation of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan)-Southern Mindanao against the driver of the jeepney that they used for their rally on Monday at Freedom Park in Davao City, citing that they were only enforcing the law.
In a post of Bayan-Southern Mindanao in its Facebook page, it accused the personnel of Davao City Police Office (DCPO) of conspiring with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and Land Transportation Office (LTO) in supposed harassment against the jeepney driver whose unit was used by the protesters.
DCPO said the jeepney driver was only approached after he violated some traffic laws.
“There is no truth to these claims. The jeepney they claimed to have been waylaid unjustifiably by the PNP Davao was in fact duly intercepted by the PNP and LTO/LTFRB for grossly violating: overloading and out-of-line, clear violations of law provided for by Republic Act 4136, otherwise known as the Land Transportation Traffic Code,” the DCPO statement read.
Bayan, in the same post, said that when they asked what the violation of the jeepney driver is, the police officer allegedly said: "Matagal na naming nakikita ang jeep na ito sa mga rally." After the confrontation, the police officer called up the LTFRB and LTO.
In one of the photos Bayan posted, it showed a police mobile patrol boarded with several uniformed personnel. They claimed that the mobile patrol also violated the overloading law.
On Monday, several protesters took the street to air their sentiments against the government during the State of the Nation Address (Sona) of President Rodrigo Duterte. DCPO said that the rally ended peacefully with no untoward incidents.
“We also would like to reiterate that the Davao City Police Office has exercised maximum tolerance in all our dealing of lawful protest rallies in the past, as we always uphold and respect the rights of every individual including the right to freedom of expression, to peaceably assemble to petition the government but we must not also forget that in doing so we shall all consider the prevailing laws of our Country and exercise self-restraint as not to violate the rights of others,” DCPO statement added.