MANILA - The House Committee on Human Rights has issued a subpoena to police officials involved in the violent dispersal of protesters at the US Embassy last October 19.
The panel summoned Manila Police District Deputy Director for Operations Sr. Supt. Marcelino Pedrozo and PO3 Franklin Kho after they failed to show up in the committee’s investigation into the violent dispersal.
The controversial dispersal was caught by the media and showed a police vehicle driven by Kho driving over the protesters.
"Earlier the committee secretary acknowledged some resource persons I observed there was no mention of. For example Col. Pedrozo who was a principal official who should have been here. There was also no mention of PO3 Franklin Kho who was mentioned in the various resolutions pending before this committee,” said Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate, who made the motion to summon the police officials.
Committee Chairman Cheryl P. Deloso-Montalla told Zarate that the appropriate invitations were sent.
“In that case, I move that these persons will be issued a subpeona and be required to explain why they failed to come. They know for a fact that this hearing is very important. Kailangan managot sila dito sa kumite kung ano nangyari sa US embassy dispersal.”
Zarate explained, proceeding with the hearing today would be pointless since the police officers won't be able to respond.
"It's really pointless. The resource person coming from Sandugo are here but if these two officials are not going to be present, then I think the purpose of the resolution will not be met, that’s why I requested earlier that these positions be subpoenaed and to show cause."
The Philippine National Police informed the committee that the two have been assigned to the National Capital Region Police Office.
The committee approved the motion to subpoena the two officers and to issue them show cause orders to explain their absence.
The hearing proceeded to hear the testimonies of the victims.
A video presentation of the incident was played during the hearing.
The schedule of the next hearing has yet to be set.