House panel recommends raps vs cops in violent 2016 US Embassy dispersal

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 09 2018 05:52 PM

MANILA - A House committee on Tuesday recommended charges against police officers involved in a violent dispersal at the US Embassy in 2016. 

Among those recommended charged was Manila police officer PO3 Franklin Kho, who drove a police vehicle that rammed protesters in front of the US Embassy along Roxas Boulevard in October 2016.

Kho previously said he accidentally drove the police vehicle in reverse. He claimed that he was forced to take over the vehicle as activists were trying to get it from them.

The report of the House Committee on Human Rights said Kho's statements "showed blatant disregard for standard police operational procedure" and did not seem credible.

"The use of the vehicle as a means of restraining the protesters is a clear violation of standard operating procedure," the committee report added. 

The House panel also recommended charges against PO1 Mark John Millares, PO1 Anthony Amores, and PO1 Hemrit Caligagan for mauling a jeepney driver as they dispersed activists. 

At least 10 people were brought to hospital after the dispersal, while 18 members of the indigenous people's community were brought to the Manila police headquarters, said Bayan Secretary General Renato Reyes. 

The committee report established that while the activists did not have rally permits, they were already allowed to finish their program prior to the violent dispersal.

The legislative inquiry sought to review the police Manual of Operational Procedures for possible revision or amendments with the view of reinforcing human rights education for police officers.