Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Oscar Albayalde said the policemen who went to the University of the Philippines (UP) did not intend to “arrest or intimidate anybody”.
“Let us be clear on that that under the Constitution there is only one PNP and that is us. Yes we recognize their autonomy and as far as I know the PCR (Police Community Relation) has talked to them,” he said.
“There was only some sort of misunderstanding there because the PCRG (Police Community Relations Group) went there for invitation. It's not to arrest or intimidate anybody, maybe they are not just aware that they need to have prior coordination there,” he added.
News reports said police went inside the UP Diliman campus to find volunteers in a project of the PCRG on Sept. 12.
Albayalde also called on the public not to make an issue out of the incident, as he emphasized that the PCRG has good intention when they enter the campus.
“Let us not make this an issue because the PCRG has good intention there, they were not harassed and they did not arrest (anyone),” he said.
Following the incident that happened weeks ago, UP president Danilo Concepcion wrote a letter to Albayalde.
In his letter, Concepcion reminded the chief PNP of the 1989 Abueva-Ramos agreement or the agreement between UP and the police and military which states military and police should notify the university officials before conducting any activities within UP campuses or regional units.
Reports added that under the agreement police can request assistance in law enforcement within the campus which has its own security personnel.
However, Albayalde said the privilege given to them should not be abused.
“What is existing there is a MOA (memorandum of agreement only). It doesn't say there that they have… There is security, ours is the existing ( security). There is the MOA and we have talked with the PCRG. Maybe that is why they are not aware that they have to coordinate there. So I think that was already discussed by them, but let us not abuse that the privilege that we give them,” he said.
“Remember that there is only one, even if you go anywhere-- it’s in the Constitution-- there is only one national police and that is the PNP,” he added. Robina Asido/DMS