Cops, protesters swap raps over SONA clash

By Reinir Padua, The Philippine Star

Posted at Aug 10 2014 08:42 AM | Updated as of Aug 10 2014 04:42 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Quezon City Police District (QCPD) and leaders of militant groups have filed complaints against each other for the confrontation that ensued along Commonwealth Avenue as President Aquino’s State of the Nation Address on July 28.

While the groups Bagong Alyansang Makabayan went to the Commission on Human Rights and the Office of the Ombudsman, the QCPD filed criminal cases against the leaders of the protesters, including party-list lawmakers from the so-called “Makabayan bloc,” before the prosecutor’s office.

The cases filed by the QCPD were for violation of Batas Pambansa 880, malicious mischief, direct assault and physical injury.

The lawmakers charged were Neri Colmenares (Bayan Muna), Luzviminda Ilagan and Emmie de Jesus (Gabriela), Antonio Tinio (ACT Teacher), Terry Ridon (Kabataan) and Fernando Hicap (Anakpawis).

Also among the leaders of militant groups named as respondents were Renato Reyes, Satur Ocampo, Teddy Casiño, Joms Salvador, George San Mateo, Danilo Ramos, Ferdinand Gaite, Elmer Labog, Vencer Crisostomo, Gloria Arellano and Cristina Palabay, among others.

The QCPD also filed charges against Dante Jimenez of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption and comedian Mae Paner, also known as Juana Change.

The QCPD cited the incident in the afternoon, during which the protesters became “unruly” and burned an effigy of President Aquino.

Policemen claimed the protesters threw bottles of water, pieces of wood, and even stones at the police contingent positioned along Commonwealth Avenue to block the protesters.

Policemen also claimed the protesters destroyed the barriers and fences put up by the Quezon City government.

During the commotion, Police Officer 1 Julian Anengyao was allegedly hit by a stone supposedly thrown by one of the protesters.

On Friday, Bayan, Karapatan and other allied groups filed complaints at the Commission on Human Rights against the police for the “garrison-style containment, use of water cannons and physical injury against the protesters” on the day of the SONA.

A separate complaint was also filed by members of Migrante International at the Office of the Ombudsman against Superintendent Victor Pagulayan of the QCPD for the alleged use of a stun gun on jeepney driver Rodel Tortola, 33, and his 12-year-old daughter Rochel Ann during the rally.

Migrante had hired Tortola and the jeepney he was driving to fetch other members and bring them to the rally site.