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PNP: Maximum tolerance, no profiling at election-related protests

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PNP: Maximum tolerance, no profiling at election-related protests
Protesters are currently assembled in front of CCP grounds for the Black Friday Protest. Police personnel block their entry to PICC for the COMELEC Canvassing, Friday, May 13.
Philstar.com / Jazmin Tabuena

MANILA, Philippines —  The Philippine National Police on Friday said its personnel have not been ordered to profile protesters raising questions about the May 9 elections and promised to exercise maximum tolerance at the rallies.

This comes days after protesters gathered outside the office of the Commission on Elections in Intramuros to question the integrity of the 2022 elections over delays in voting because of faulty machines. Some of the protesters alleged on social media that they were profiled.

In a statement sent to reporters, Police Brig. Gen. Roderick Alba, chief of the PNP's public information office, asserted that the duty of the PNP personnel deployed in protest rallies is "to ensure that the entire activity is peaceful and will not resort to violence or any untoward incident."

"The PNP has not given any directive to profile any personalities...Part of the regular activity of the PNP during their deployment in any gathering, is to prepare a situationer report which includes the estimate number of participants and the over-all assessment of the entire activity as this will serve as reference in planning for deployment in similar events," he said. 

Police often take photos and videos at protests for documentation.

Manila City Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso issued a memorandum this week urging barangay captains and police commanders in the capital city to "strictly enforce" a Marcos-era law prohibiting public assembly without a permit.

RELATED: 'Checking or profiling?': What personal information cops can ask you for

Alba added that the PNP would observe maximum tolerance in these protest rallies. "We respect the people’s right to voice out their opinions in assemblies or gatherings but we will truly appreciate if it will be done in a peaceful manner," he said. 

Responding to an earlier statement by the Commission on Human Rights, the PNP spokesperson also said that the police will investigate the 16 recorded cases of election-related violence on election day. 

"The PNP is committed to resolve all election-related violence recorded and verified with our police stations/units. This is integral in our prime goal to secure the election and to run after those who wage violence before, during and after the polls."

READ: Moreno orders Manila to enforce 'no permit, no rally' rule

"We understand the sentiment of the supporters and we respect the citizen’s right to self-expression. However, we are appealing to the concerned groups to refrain from engaging in activities that can instigate and disrupt peace and order in the community," Police Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr., PNP Officer-in-Charge, said in an earlier statement.

There have been no reports of that kind of activity at the protests.

Danao reiterated the call to be vigilant especially when doing public gatherings where safety and health protocols must still be achieved. — Franco Luna 

PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE

PNP

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