MANILA - Policemen who were spotted earlier this month at the University of the Philippines Diliman campus were not out to arrest or intimidate anybody, the Philippine National Police said Monday.
UP President Danilo Concepcion, in a letter to the PNP, expressed alarm over the "intrusion" of 3 armed and uniformed policemen in the campus, who reportedly searched for Student Regent Ivy Joy Taroma last Septermber 12, without disclosing their reasons.
"There was only some sort of a misunderstanding doon dahil iyung pagpunta naman ng PCRG (Police Community Relations Group) doon, for invitation na napakaganda," PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde told reporters.
(The PCRG was there for proper invitation.)
"It is not to arrest or not to intimidate anybody. Siguro hindi lang nila alam na kailangan muna makipag-coordinate doon,"
(Perhaps they were not aware that they should coordinate.)
The police has since explained the reason for their visit to UP officials, Albayalde said, but did not divulge what this was during the press briefing.
Concepcion earlier said that UP has a "longstanding agreement" with the police and military "to observe prior coordination with each other" regarding visits to campuses to prevent any misunderstanding.
The university, he noted, has its own police force to deal with minor incidents and disturbances.
While the PNP recognizes the autonomy of UP, it should "not abuse" the privilege given to it, said Albayalde.
"Under the constitution, there is only one Philippine National Police -- that is the PNP, that is us. There is no such thing as meron po silang sarili (they have their own)," he said.
Albayalde said he has directed the PNP legal services division to produce a copy of its memorandum of agreement with UP.