Garma to sue all anti-gov’t protesters
CEBU, Philippines — All of them will be sued.
Cebu City Police Office Director Royina Garma yesterday clarified that not just the 10 but all protesters will be sued following an “unruly” protest rally outside the Police Regional Office (PRO)-7 last Monday, in line with the EDSA anniversary.
“Kami naman, we respect the freedom of expression but there is limitation to our freedom and that is to make sure that you are not also violating the freedom of others. Respetuhan lang. The key word there is respect,” she said.
Garma explained that there was an implied agreement of the group, saying the five to 10 protesters would have no guts to damage the government property without the prodding of the others.
Earlier, the PRO-7 has issued a statement that they are planning to file damage to government property against 10 protesters following an altercation that ensued between various cause-oriented groups and the policemen guarding the Camp Sergio Osmeña on Monday.
University of the Philippines (UP)-Cebu Professor and Karapatan-Visayas Chairperson Phoebe Zoe Sanchez said they were offended when the police regional office turned the music on while they staged a protest rally to air their sentiments over the killings.
This, she said, has prompted others to clamp on the metal gates.
PRO-7 Director Debold Sinas, however, said earlier that the music was not meant to provoke the protesters.
Since it was a holiday, the music was turned on for a dance rehearsal and entertainment, he added.
Garma will be looking into the possibility of filing three complaints against the group, attaching pictures taken as evidence.
“We will check if there is a permit to assemble and hold protest, if not then it is one violation; gibadlong sa police they disobeyed, there is disobedience (resistance and disobedience to a person in authority), and malicious mischief for destruction’s of another’s property,” she said.
Garma admitted that they have difficulties in the determination of the names of the protesters though they have their faces. If they will not be identified they will be impleaded as unknown.
“Dali ra mag-charge, dali ra ang papel but lisud ang identification. If gi-disperse nato at may natamaan, eh di child abuse,” Garma said referring to the presence of children during the protest rally.
“These people are using children in the guise of freedom of expression that they are expressing themselves,” she said, adding she will be tapping the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and have a social case studies to identify the parents of those children.
It’s not all about exercising the freedom of expression, Garma said the various cause-oriented groups must consider the rights of others. — GAN (FREEMAN)