Police chief irked by violent dispersal of rally at US embassy

MANILA — Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Dir. Gen. Ronald dela Rosa was irked by the violent dispersal of a rally of indigenous people and other cause-oriented groups in front of the United States Embassy in Roxas Blvd., Ermita, Manila on Wednesday.

Dela Rosa is in China as part of the official delegation of President Rodrigo Duterte’s four-day state visit to the communist state.

In a statement read for him by PNP Public Information Office (PIO) chief and spokesman, Sr. Supt. Dionardo Carlos, in Camp Crame, Quezon City on Thursday, dela Rosa said, “Napanood ko ang video at nakakalungkot at nakakagalit. (I saw the video and it was saddening and infuriating.) I saw people got hurt. Ayaw na ayaw ko na may nasasaktan na Pilipino. (I don’t want to see any Filipino being harmed). But I cannot let emotions get the best of me.”

“As Chief of the PNP, I have a duty and moral obligation to look into this squarely, and deal with it swiftly and decisively,” he added.

The PNP, he said, recognizes and upholds the citizens’ right to peaceful assembly.

“Police forces are under strict instructions as a matter of policy, to exercise maximum tolerance in such public assemblies, with public safety and protection of human life an utmost concern and topmost priority,” he said.

The police chief said an investigation and full review is underway and necessary sanctions will be levelled against any personnel found guilty of putting lives at risk.

Upon dela Rosa’s instructions, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director, Chief Supt. Oscar Albayalde, has placed all officers involved in that particular police operation under administrative relief to ensure impartiality in the investigation.

Dela Rosa said President Duterte has been briefed about the incident and he stressed the obligations of the police in serving and protecting the people.

”But as he (President Duterte) said, we cannot point fingers right away without clear investigation,” he said.

“Our other priority now, is to look into the victims, and check on their recovery and safety after such an unfortunate incident,” dela Rosa said. PNA – northboundasia.com