Dela Rosa to ASEAN protesters: ‘Kayo ang unang nanakit’

Rambo Talabong
Dela Rosa to ASEAN protesters: ‘Kayo ang unang nanakit’
'Kayo naman ang unang naging marahas, so wala kaming magagawa,' adds Philippine National Police chief Ronald dela Rosa

MANILA, Philippines – Protesters during the second day of the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit overstepped, so cops were left with no choice but to fight back.

This was the message of Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa on Monday evening, November 13.

“Sinadya ‘nyo ‘yan. Kayo naman ang unang nanakit. Kayo naman ang unang naging marahas, so wala kaming magagawa,” Dela Rosa said in a news briefing.

(You chose to do it. You were the first to hurt [cops]. You were the first ones to become violent, so we were left with no choice.)

Protesters earlier claimed that 20 of them were injured in ASEAN protests. Police also counted at least 20 injured from their ranks. Both sides accused each other of lying in their tally.

Dela Rosa on Monday called on the demonstrators to stay in areas specified in their permits. Some protesters, according to cops, don’t even have their permits, but were allowed to hold rallies as ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte. (IN PHOTOS: At least 2,000 attend protests on day one of ASEAN Summit)

“Pakiusap ko sa mga raliyista, sana maging mahinahon lang tayo. If you are really committed diyan sa activity ninyo na, mag-rally sana, mag-rally lang kayo na peaceful,” the PNP chief said.

(My call to the protesters is for them to be calm. If you really are committed to your activity, rally peacefully.)

“Obserbahan ‘nyo kung hanggang saan lang kayo puwedeng papayagan ng mga awtoridad. ‘Wag na kayong magpupumilit,” the top cop added. 

(Observe the limits imposed by authorities. Don’t force it.) –

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.