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6月12日のまにら新聞から

PNP warns protests not allowed due to health concerns

[ 547 words|2020.6.12|英字 (English) ]

A day before Independence Day, the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday appealed to the public that mass protests are not allowed and they will strictly enforce it.

“The Philippine National Police will strictly enforce the prohibition on any form of mass gathering during the celebration of the 122nd 'Araw ng Kalayaan' tomorrow, June 12,” Police General Archie Francisco Gamboa said.

Gamboa appealed to the public to avoid mass gatherings as the nation celebrates Independence Day with simple rites at Rizal Park in Manila.

Based on new pronouncements of the Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19, only 10 persons will be allowed to participate in the commemoration rites at Rizal Park according to IATF protocols under General Community Quarantine.

"On the part of the PNP, we will strictly enforce the IATF protocols. We appeal to the public, especially to organized groups, to avoid mass gatherings as we celebrate this important day," Gamboa said.

PNP will hold simultaneous flag raising ceremonies at Camp Crame and in all regional offices that will be attended only by a limited number of personnel.

On the part of Joint Task Force COVID Shield, they told those who are planning to join protests to think twice as they may join those infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Police Lt General Guillermo Eleazar, JTF commander, said while the government has always respected the right of the people to assemble and air their grievances, the planned street protests comes at a wrong time since the country and the rest of the world is suffering from COVID-19 pandemic.

“The threat of coronavirus is still high. If you violate our quarantine rules particularly on social distancing, the probability of getting infected is also high and you may also end up bringing the virus right inside your homes,” Eleazar said.

“So we are reminding them of the risk based on what health experts have been us warning since Day One. There is only one purpose when quarantine rules were crafted, and that is to protect the Filipinos from this deadly virus,” he added.

Eleazar said several people, particularly those identified with militant groups, have signified the intention to join protests on June 12 to mark the Araw ng Kalayaan celebration.

Some personalities that include government officials have been encouraging people to join the protests.

Also, organizers and protesters have been also taunting the PNP over what they claim to be a double standard in the implementation of the quarantine rules.

Eleazar said the PNP has always been fair and compassionate in the implementation of quarantine rules.

“They have been saying that the incident involving some police officers in Metro Manila was a mistake. If indeed it was, then why commit the same mistake?,” he asked.

Eleazar said there are other ways to express opinions and grievances.

“As what our Chief PNP suggested, they could do it online because almost everybody is now online with their respective social media accounts,” he said.

Eleazar said the PNP is ready to ensure peace and order, especially in the time of the pandemic.

“As per instruction of our SILG ( Secretary of Interior and Local Government) Eduardo Año, protesters will be dispersed and advised to return home. The PNP will also exercise maximum tolerance and calibrated response,” he said. Ella Dionisio/DMS