Palace praises cops, blasts foreigner in SONA rally

By Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 24 2013 05:48 PM | Updated as of Jul 25 2013 10:19 AM

MANILA - Malacañang condemned the violent demonstration staged by protesters last Monday during President Aquino's fourth State of the Nation Address.

The Palace lauded the Philippine National Police for standing its ground, saying that they did their job.

"This is not the way to express your grievances. You don't do it violenty, you don't do it by throwing stones. The action taken by the people in the streets, the people on the Left was certainly something... which we condemn. So we take our hats off to those police who stood in the line of fire, to those who suffered. Certainly, they did their job," Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said.

"Hopefully by the next SONA, the people on the Left--you know, there's been an outrage about your attitude, your conduct on the day of the SONA. I hope you refashion your way of expressing your grievances."

Lacierda also took a swipe at a foreigner who joined the protests and was caught on camera angrily confronting a police officer.

"Ang sinabi niya nandito siya to express his right to (free) speech. But appararently the Left has a flying Dutchman amongst them," he said.

Foreigner Thomas van Beersum, a delegate of the International Conference on Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines, earlier confirmed that he participated in a rally outside the Batasan Pambansa.

He said he shouted at PO1 Joselito Sevilla for not doing anything to stop fellow police officers who were beating up activists.

A picture of Sevilla weeping while being hugged by protesters went viral on Tuesday.

Sevilla told photographer Rem Zamora that he became emotional due to hunger and fatigue while at the dispersal line.