Ferro: We will arrest protesters

Iris Hazel M. Mascardo (The Freeman) - June 12, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Police Regional Office (PRO)-7 Director Albert Ignatius Ferro has reminded the public that holding a rally in public areas is still not allowed, even amid celebration of 122nd Independence Day today.

This, after some militant groups in Cebu City had hinted of holding a protest in line with the celebration of the country’s Independence Day.

Ferro told reporters that GCQ protocols which prohibit the holding of mass gathering, including rallies, are still in place.

“Since we are at GCQ level, mass gatherings and mass protests are still not allowed. So, ang ilang buhaton (today) is not allowed.  We will be exercising maximum tolerance but if they don’t disperse, we will be forced to arrest them and file a case against them,” said Ferro.

Should the militants question their arrest and defend their rights to protest, Ferro said the protesters should instead move to have Republic Act 11332 that prohibits mass gathering get repealed.

“They should go to the different legislative bodies to air their grievances to such prohibition sa atong balaod nga will protect and will secure our Sugbuanons human to human spread of COVID-19,” Ferro said.

He added they will still be arresting protesters even after getting criticized for the recent arrest of the eight protesters for holding a rally outside the UP campus last June 5.

“We are not preventing their freedom of expression, they could express in their homes or virtual or viber, it’s up to them.  But mass gathering is not allowed,” Ferro said.

Last Wednesday, the camp of “Cebu8” had announced they will be filing counter-charges against the arresting officers of Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) for the “illegal” arrest.  GAN (FREEMAN)

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