“WHY do we need to explain?”
The question was issued Tuesday, November 12, by Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (NOPPO) director, Police Colonel Romeo Baleros in response to the request made by Councilor Wilson Gamboa, Jr. for a report on the raids conducted by the police and the army in Barangay Bata, Bacolod City last month that resulted to the arrest of some leaders and members of some progressive groups.
Baleros said the councilor is free to get a copy of their report from the Regional Trial Court.
Baleros said they are still willing to give an explanation, however, he pointed out the councilor can get a copy of their sworn statement because they won’t change any statement.
“For what purpose? He is supposed to lead the city’s task force in ending local communist armed conflict,” Baleros said.
He added that if the councilor is trying to contest the legality and validity of their operation then he has to go to the regional trial courts and file a complaint, after which they’ll answer the complaint in the proper forum.
Earlier, the of Bacolod City Council requested law enforcement agencies involved in the raids of progressive offices in Bacolod to provide information regarding the mass arrests they made.
The resolution, which was authored by Gamboa, cited Section 11 Article II of the 1987 Constitution, which states, “The state values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human rights;” along with the Bill of Rights.
The Philippine Army 3rd Infantry Division spokesperson, Army Captain Cenon Pancito III, said they are “very much willing” to comply once they receive a copy of the resolution.
“We are not hiding anything and it is the right of every Negrense to know what is really happening in the area,” he explained.
The military official also said they are willing to present the current situation as they believe the local government should be more aware of the situation at hand.