QC cops say sorry, no intent to harm Ateneo students, staff at rally

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 25 2017 09:32 PM

 

MANILA - Quezon City Police District (QCPD) Director Guillermo Eleazar on Friday said cops responding to a protest against extrajudicial killings held at the Ateneo de Manila University Thursday meant no harm to students and faculty members.

"Walang harassment, intimidation na intention gawin ang ating kapulisan. Kung ganoon man ang dating sa kanila, humihingi ako ng paumanhin sa kanila. Ginagawa lang po ang trabaho namin," Eleazar said during a dialogue with the Ateneo Campus Security and Mobility Office.

"Kung tutuusin, the presence of the police should be welcomed and appreciated, but I understand, with the recent situation that the organization is undergoing and the challenges we are facing, naiintindihan ko 'yung punto nila," he added.

In a statement, the Ateneo said two officers aboard a police car with no plate number parked outside the university gate Thursday night.

The policemen then asked the participants who led the protest and the reason for the demonstration.

Eleazar said it was standard operating procedure for the police to get details of a protest.

The police and the Ateneo agreed that the QCPD would monitor protests at the university moderately.

"From now on, ang pulis na pupunta doon nearby will just be there to protect them, to secure and to provide traffic direction and control. The (university) security can just coordinate with the police station if there are any similar activities," Eleazar said.

"Hindi na pupuntahan pa para magtanong pa. They will just be there, siguro malayo ng kaunti, just to ensure na walang kaguluhan," he added.

Ateneo president Jose Ramon Villarin S.J. meanwhile thanked the police for their "quick response and openness to hear out our concerns and issues."

"The University takes our police at their word and trusts that they will keep to these agreements," Villarin said in a statement.

"The University maintains its right to freedom of speech and freedom of peaceful assembly. I ask the community to remain calm, vigilant and prudent and I reassure you of our support as you continue to fight for the remembrance of all the innocent victims of this drug war," the statement read. --Report from Miguel Dumaual, ABS-CBN News