Cebu City police to protesters: Don’t violate laws

Legal Rights

The local police here on Thursday advised cause-oriented groups and supporters of candidates who lost in the May 9 national and local elections not to violate the laws and ordinances if they decide to stage protest rallies.

Lt. Col. Ma. Theresa Macatangay, Cebu City police’s spokesperson, told reporters that local cops will secure areas where the rallyists will converge to protest the outcome of the recently concluded elections.

“First of all, let me explain that our preparation for the security (aspect) is only for the purpose of ensuring order in our locality. It is not intended to suppress their rights to express anything they want to say. But as your law enforcer, we only want to impart to these groups, they should not commit any crimes or any violations like vandalizing private properties or public properties, or hampering the flow of traffic,” Macatangay said.

The police recognized the constitutional rights of the people to peaceably assemble to seek redress, as it is part of the democratic process.

However, Macatangay advised these groups that are planning to conduct rallies on Friday to secure a permit from the Cebu City Hall as required by law.

She said the local police are hopeful that they will just abide by the existing laws and ordinances if ever they pursue their plan to conduct a big rally here in relation to Monday’s election.

Macatangay also said the claim that the local police were used to harass supporters of certain politicians here is an “irresponsible statement.”

“We would like to ask whoever is alleging or floating this idea to show us proof that indeed the PNP took part in that particular allegation,” she said.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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