MANILA, Philippines – After President Rodrigo Duterte declared Thursday, September 21, a “national day of protest“, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said it hopes that dissidents who will flood public spaces will “police themselves”.
“We’re confident that the protesters will police themselves. We appeal to them not to commit crime,” PNP spokesman Chief Superintendent Dionardo Carlos told reporters in a press briefing on Tuesday, September 19.
He added that while they will exercise “maximum tolerance”, he said “we will not tolerate crime.” Thursday’s protest activities are part of the commemoration of the 45th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law. (READ: LOOK BACK: Philippine protests that turned bloody)
The PNP’s call to protesters echoes that of Duterte.
“Come down here, I will not arrest you. But for the life of me, I am asking you, do not commit a crime,” the President said earlier.
Asked how many cops are expected to monitor the crowd on the big day, Carlos said police officers are still collating information on planned protests before releasing how many they would deploy.
This year’s commemoration coincides with widespread police violence and Duterte’s friendly ties with the surviving family of former president Ferdinand Marcos himself. – Rappler.com