THE Philippine National Police (PNP) is bent on filling charges against militants for allegedly mauling two undercover policemen who were monitoring protest actions outside the Batasan Pambansa Complex where President Benigno Aquino Jr. delivered his last State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday.
Some of the militants on Tuesday went to Camp Crame to return the mobile phones of the two policemen and other equipment taken from anti-riot policemen during skirmishes along Commonwealth Avenue on July 27.
The PNP chief, Director General Ricardo Marquez, told reporters that deployment of undercover policemen during rallies was standard operating procedure to monitor movements of demonstrators.
Marquez said it was not the mission or objective of police operatives to infiltrate the protesters’ ranks but only to ensure that the protest actions are orderly and peaceful.
He, however, noted that while the police exercised maximum tolerance, the demonstrators turned violent even though they did not have a permit to rally.
“We had never initiated violent action against the rallyists. We’d always respected their freedom of assembly, though they didn’t have a rally permit. It’s up for you to determine who was right or wrong in this particular incident,” Marquez said.
Charges of direct assault, robbery and physical injuries are set to be filed against the assailants of the undercover policemen, both of whom suffered contusions and bruises in different parts of the body.
The PNP chief said the perpetrators could be easily identified through CCTV cameras installed in the area.
He appealed to the Commission on Human Rights to be fair in assessing what transpired during the protest actions.
Doris Cuario, secretary general of Karapatan Southern Tagalog, said their returning the mobile phones and other police equipment does not mean they are saying sorry for what happened, but only to prove that they are not thieves.
According to her, it is the police that owe them an apology for entering the 50-meter perimeter enclosure of the protesters.
Cuario said they also plan to file charges of slight physical injuries against police intelligence operatives.