Militant leaders face charges for ‘attack on cops’ during SONA

Bea Cupin
Militant leaders face charges for ‘attack on cops’ during SONA

Czeasar Dancel

One of those charges says the case is 'fabricated and without basis,' and will not deter militant groups from staging mass protests against APEC

MANILA, Philippines – Militant leaders face criminal raps for allegedly detaining and beating up two police personnel during President Benigno Aquino III’s final State of the Nation Address (SONA) in July, the Philippine National Police said on Thursday, November 12.

The PNP said in a press statement that the Quezon City Prosecutor’s office is conducting a preliminary investigation to determine probable cause against the following leaders of Kilusang Magbubukid ng PIlipinas (KMP), Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), Gabriela, Anakbayan, and Courage:

  • KMP Secretary-General Antonio Flores
  • Bayan Secretary-General Renato Reyes 
  • Gabriela Secretary-General Arjie Manalo 
  • Mark Adrian Ng, Bayan 
  • Hermie Marasigan, Bayan 
  • Perla Ipong, Bayan 
  • Anakbayan Chairperson Vencer Crisostomo 
  • Courage National President Ferdinand Gaite

Chief Inspector Antonio Ananayo Jr, and Police Officer 1 Reden Malagonio, both from the Regional Public Safety Battalion (RPSB) of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), filed cases against the 8 for allegedly detaining and injuring them on July 27, 2015.

Ananayo and Malagonio alleged that members of the militant groups “snatched” them while protests were held along Commonwealth Avenue. A Quezon City police probe showed that the two were “held captive against their will and shoved aboard a passenger jeepney where they were mauled and robbed of their personal belongings.”

The PNP said Ananayo “sustained life-threatening severe internal head injuries that required surgery to remove blood clots that developed in his brain.” The two police officers “also suffered multiple bruises, and abrasions in different parts of the body,” it added.

The PNP said the 8 are being charged for the following:

  • Violating Batas Pambansa 880 (Public Assembly Act of 1985)
  • Serious illegal detention
  • Assault upon an agent of person in authority 
  • Robbery

Crisostomo, one of the 8 being charged, insisted that the “cases are baseless, they are fabricated and without basis.”

In a statement also released on Thursday, Crisostomo referred to the case as “this harassment done by the Aquino government as part of the attempts to sabotage mass protests set next week against APEC and imperialist globalization.”

“This attack on democratic rights will not deter us from holding our nationwide campus walkout against tuition hikes and APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) tomorrow, and next week in a youth camp against imperialist globalization and terror,” he added.

Security for the APEC Leader’s Summit next week will be tight, as 20 world leaders fly into the country to attend the high-level meeting. In a press briefing on Wednesday, November 11, government officials reiterated the country’s “no permit, no rally” rule. (READ: Chinese officials’ concern: Anti-China protests during APEC)

Protesters will not be allowed in the vicinity of the APEC venues, routes, and the hotels of the world leaders visiting the country. Police will also be beefing up security at embassies to avoid lighting rallies. – Rappler.com

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.