ORGANIZERS of the “March for Justice for SAF 44” scheduled for Sunday will be arrested if they continue to stage a sympathy walk for the 44 slain Special Action Force (SAF) commandos from Camp Crame and converge at Quezon City Memorial Circle (QCMC).
The Quezon City government issued this warning on Friday after it recalled the permit it issued earlier because the local police changed their recommendations to the city officials.
If the organizers pushed through with the sympathy walk for the 44 slain SAF troops this weekend, the police would have to arrest them, according to the city government.
“It’s a police problem [if rally organizers continue the sympathy walk toward QCMC]. I have coordinated with the QCPD [Quezon City Police District], the policy is ‘no permit, no rally.’ Based on our latest information, they will proceed even without a permit,” Elmo San Diego, head of the city government’s Department of Public Order and Safety (DPOS), told The Manila Times.
San Diego said the application by rally organizers for a permit to march and converge at QCMC on Sunday was approved “five or six days ago.”
He, however, added that the city government decided to recall the permit on Wednesday (March 4) after the QCPD changed its recommendations.
“The permit was recalled because so many groups have decided to join the rally, including left-leaning groups. It may get chaotic and hard to control,” San Diego explained.
The Alumni of the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) organized the event, which will start at Dasmariñas City in Cavite province and will end at Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City.
Earlier, retired Chief Supt. Tomas Rentoy 3rd, chairman of the PNPA Alumni Association Inc., said the indignation rally marks the 44-day period of mourning for the SAF troops.
He said the activity will be conducted in two phases. The first phase will be a 44-kilometer walk from Salitran, Dasmariñas City, to the PNP headquarters at Camp Crame in Quezon City.
The second phase will be from Camp Crame to QCMC, where an ecumenical Mass will be celebrated.
Participants in Phase 1 will link up with Phase 2 participants and assemble at Camp Crame before joining the walk to QCMC.
It was reported that running priest Fr. Robert Reyes will lead the joggers composed of PNPA alumni, cadets and sports clubs members from Cavite to Camp Crame, while the families of the 44 slain SAF commandos will lead the march from Camp Crame to QCMC.
QCPD spokeswoman and Senior Insp. Maricar Taqueban confirmed that the local police department has received reports that several cause-oriented groups will be joining the march as it was announced that it is open to the public.
“We have received reports that several groups with different agenda may join the event that may cause security threats and problems,” she said.
“This was the reason why the QCPD recommended recalling the permit,” Taqueban added.
San Diego warned that in case the organizers still pursue the event without a permit from the city government, they may be charged with violation of Batas Pambansa 880 or the Public Assembly Act of 1985.