Activists sue cops over violent US embassy dispersal

Carolyn Bonquin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 26 2016 04:12 PM

MANILA – Activists and indigenous peoples on Wednesday filed charges against policemen following the violent dispersal of protesters during a recent rally in front of the US Embassy in Manila.

Activists and IPs under the group Sandugo filed a complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman against National Capital Region Police Office chief Oscar Albayalde, Manila Police District deputy director for operations Marcelino Pedrozo, PO3 Franklin Kho and 7 others.

The group is seeking the indictment of the 10 police officials for multiple attempted murder, serious physical injuries and unlawful arrest.

The group said the policemen committed obstruction of justice, grave misconduct, grave abuse of authority, and conduct unbecoming of a public officer.

Activists sue cops over violent US embassy dispersal 1
Protesters lie on the ground after being hit by a police van during a rally against the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) in front of the US embassy in Manila on Wednesday. A Philippine police van rammed and ran over the protesters. Stringer, AFP

Jerome Succor Aba, a Moro leader and co-convener of Sandugo, said the group is seeking to “set a precedent for the promise of justice under the new administration by filing a case against these police criminals.”

“There is no place for the likes of Senior Supt. Marcelino Pedrozo and PO3 Franklin Kho, and the rest of the 200 PNP personnel who orchestrated the violent dispersal, in this government that has sincerely taken steps towards just peace and an independent foreign policy,” said Aba.

The violent dispersal, which saw Kho running over several protesters with a police mobile, comes at a time the government is seeking to strike a peace deal with the communist movement, which supports the marginalized IPs.

The violent dispersal could hurt efforts by the government and the Left to reach a peace deal, as the militants also asked the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) of the peace panels of the government and National Democratic Front of the Philippines to investigate the violent dispersal.

The JMC is tasked to monitor any violation of the provisions under the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law signed by the government and the NDFP.