Dela Rosa assures SONA protesters: Cops here to protect you
MANILA, Philippines - What was supposed to be a trip to check on troops tasked to secure the Batasang Pambansa from the usual protest rallies turned into a meet and greet of sorts for the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Director General Ronald Dela Rosa, chief of the PNP, went onstage during a protest near Batasan on Monday, July 25, to assure hundreds gathered there that the police were there to protect them.
On Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte is set to deliver his first State of the Nation Address (SONA). (WATCH: Live: Pesident Duterte's SONA 2016)
"Kami po ay masaya sa inyong ginagawa. Andito kami para kayo ay protektahan, andito kami para kayo'y hindi saktan," said Dela Rosa, who went to Batasan right after the Monday flag raising ceremony in Camp Crame.
WATCH: PNP chief Dela Rosa says "first time" in PH history that police don't feel threatened during SONA pic.twitter.com/AyojyaKRiw— Bea Cupin (@beacupin) July 25, 2016
During an earlier press conference in Camp Crame, Dela Rosa had told media that unlike SONAs of the past, police did not feel threatened this time. Protesters, in fact, were allowed to gather much closer to the House of Representatives building than usual.
Dela Rosa said this was done because protesters requested it and Malacañang gave the go-signal.
Before visiting the tactical command post right in front of the Batasang Pambansa, the police general first made an impromptu visit to protesters gathered along Commonwealth. There, he spoke to Renato Reyes, who noted this was the first time a PNP chief met with protesters.
Dela Rosa then commanded riot police stationed here to lay down their shields and to "relax."
The 4-star general, who leads the PNP in its anti-illegal drugs efforts, was met with applause by protesters and a crowd of curious passers-by as he went around the area where cops were deployed. – Rappler.com
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