MANILA - About 10 individuals from various militant groups filed separate complaints against the Philippine National Police over what they believe was a violent dispersal of protesters during the last State of the Nation Address (SONA).
The complainants believe they were subjected to "garrison-style containment" after police used water cannon on protesters
In the complaint filed before the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), the petitioners asserted that "the harassment, checkpoints, illegal barricades, violent dispersal with water cannons, were draconian measures and criminal acts perpetrated by the respondents in violation of the UN International Covenant on civil and Political rights and international human rights conventions to which the Philippines is a signatory."
The petitioners are Bayan secretary-general Renato Reyes, Antonio Flores of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, Nenita Gonzaga of Kilusang Mayo Uno, Cristina Palabay of Karapatan, Pastor Guillermo Sediarin of Karapatan - Southern Tagalog, Gertrudes Libang of Gabriela, Carlito Badion of Kadamay, George San Mateo of Piston, Paraluman Catuira of Migrante, Gloria Bongon of Kilusang Mayo Uno - Metro Manila.
A separate complaint was also filed by members of the Migrante International at the Office of the Ombudsman against Supt. Victor Pagulayan.
The group accused Pagulayan of using a stun gun on jeepney driver Rodel Tortola and his 12-year-old daughter. This same complaint was filed before both the CHR and the Ombudsman.
The complaint stated that Tortola was hired by Migrante on the day of the SONA to bring members to the rally.
During the commotion between the police and demonstrators, Tortola was allegedly forced by the police to give up the jeepney's keys.
In an ambush interview, Reyes said he and the other complainants want the incident to be put on record and those responsible held accountable.
Palabay, meanwhile, claimed that the police already used water cannon on the protesters even though the latter had yet to approach the container vans positioned along Commonwealth Avenue.