Youth to QCPD: ‘Why deploy a policeman in plainclothes bearing firearms in a peaceful protest?’

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Kabataan Party-list lambasts QCPD’s allegations and actions against July 11 protestors

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Kabataan Party-list condemns the Quezon City Police’s Department allegations against progressive groups during the protest last July 11, held at the Freedom Park of the Commission on Human Rights. The QCPD asserts that the protest was an illegal assembly, and that the police personnel were there for “peacekeeping and monitoring”.

The teach-in program featured talks from lawyers and Supreme Court petitioners who filed against the recently passed Anti-Terrorism Law; the attendees wore facemasks and practiced social distancing. The program would have otherwise been completely peaceful if not for the presence of an armed police agent which posed a potential threat to the attendees, a reasonable cause for alarm given state forces’ record of human rights violations and utter disregard of the law.

The protest was not an illegal assembly; no particular permit is required to conduct a peaceful program at the site where it was held—a freedom park. The groups and organizers nonetheless sought and was granted permission by the Commission on Human Rights.

If anyone is to be charged with a violation of the law, it would be the policemen who were in civilian clothing and caught red-handed bearing arms. The QCPD had outright disregard for Section 13 of BP 880, which stipulates that carrying of firearms of members of law enforcement units within 100 meters of the area of activity or public assembly is strictly prohibited.

The pandemic doesn’t entail the suspension of the people’s constitutional rights to assembly and air grievances. Amid Duterte’s ineptness in providing mass testing, socio-economic aid for everyone in need of it, and job and livelihood security, it is only just for the people to demand solutions and forward legitimate concerns.

Amid the Pandemic, the Duterte Regime wants to normalize the presence of PNP and Military everywhere. Through the police and the military, Duterte seeks to conduct unlawful surveillance of individuals who he deems as “terrorists”. Exploiting the situation of the nation currently afflicted by the pandemic, combined with the Anti-Terrorism Law which he recently signed, Duterte gives extra leeway for state forces to perform unlawful acts and human rights violations to quell criticism and dissent, further solidifying his grip on power.

We will remain vigilant of any unlawful actions and abuses that the state commits against its people, and we would hold accountable by any means possible those who would attempt to trample on our inviolable rights, even Duterte himself. We expect the state to be more relentless in its attacks; thus, we call on the people especially the youth to be equally unfaltering in defending our freedom and democracy.###


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