PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) Chief Archie Gamboa on Wednesday, July 29, 2020, defended the members of the Manila Police District (MPD) who confiscated protest materials from members of Akbayan inside the Quiapo Church on Monday.
Gamboa said the church’s authorities sought their assistance when two protesters brought out their placards, distracting the others who were attending the Mass.
Gamboa said the police “did not touch” the protesters outside the church, but had to confiscate the placards inside the church to maintain peace and order.
The video that went viral on social media showed police confiscating the placards and other paraphernalia inside the church.
Gamboa said they do not intend to file charges against the Akbayan members.
“Ang sinasabi ko naman we have not filed any charges, what the PNP did was to maintain peace and order...Ang issue are not the materials but their behavior inside a religious and a worship area,” said Gamboa.
Gamboa said complainants are welcome to file charges against the cops involved.
“They are welcome and we are ready to defend ourselves,” he said.
On Monday, parochial vicar Fr. Douglas Badong, official of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, known as the Quiapo Church, said what the protesters did was inappropriate.
He said the church is not a venue for protest actions. Church staff had approached the two protesters and advised them to stop but they refused to listen.
It was then that they sought police assistance, Badong said. (SunStar Philippines)