MANILA — Police officers in plainclothes ordered organizers to stop a martial law film exhibition at a barangay in Pasay City on Tuesday.
Kabataan Partylist Rep. Raoul Manuel on Wednesday said the law enforcers went to a covered court in Barangay 178 where the event was being held told them that Malacañang wouldn't like what they were doing.
"Kaya daw pinapatigil ng kapulisan 'yun dahil hindi daw 'yun magugustuhan ng nakaupo ngayon sa Malacañang," Manuel, citing the organizers of the event, said in ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
(The reason why it was halted was that the person at Malacañang would dislike it.)
But Pasay Police Chief Byron Tabernilla belied the accusation and said the film showing was stopped because of social distancing violations.
Manuel responded by saying that the police were just looking for reasons.
"Hindi makatotohanan ang gano'ng sinasabi ng ating kapulisan kasi meron 5 ahente ng kanilang intelligence unit 'yung pumunta sa venue kahit na 'yan pa nga ay in coordination doon sa barangay officials," he said.
(Police's claim was false because 5 agents of its intelligence unit came to the venue despite the fact that organizers had secured a permit from the barangay.)
"Tapos sila ay nang-video pa nga at meron pang isang ahente na nagpakita ng kaniyang baril sa mga lumahok at maging sa ibang media personnel."
(Then they took a video of the event and there was one officer who brandished his gun to intimidate the attendees and other media personnel.)
The Pasay police have yet to issue a statement about the brandishing, but Manuel said they secured photos and videos that would prove their claim.
The event, which was organized by the Kabataan Partlyist on the eve of the 50th commemoration of Martial Law declaration, was supposed to play "Liway," a martial law film by Kip Oebanda, according to AlterMidya.
On Twitter, BAYAN Secretary-General Renato Reyes Jr. denounced the police's move.
"Bisperas ng ika-50 anibersaryo ng Martial Law, pinatigil ng pulis Pasay ang film showing tungkol sa Martial Law. Rented venue ito. Walang iligal dito," Reyes said.
(On the day before the 50th anniversary of Martial Law, Pasay police suppressed a film showing on Martial Law. That venue was rented. There was nothing illegal there.)
"Bakit pinatigil ng pulis na di man lang naka-uniporme? Akala nila Martial Law pa rin tayo? #ML50 #NeverAgain."
(Why was it stopped by police who were not in uniform? They really thought were still under Martial Law?)
—TeleRadyo, September 21, 2022