Police files charges vs ComVal barricade leaders
DAVAO CITY, Philippines - Local police filed charges against the leaders of a road barricade in Montevista, Compostela Valley protesting the alleged poor government relief services.
Sr Supt Camilo Cascolan, officer-in-charge of PNP ComVal, said 8 persons were pressed with public disorder charges for leading more than 5,000 angry residents in the roadblock.
Cascolan said the public disorder charges include alarm and scandal, tumultuous and public disturbance, and unlawful utterances.
Local authorities identified the leaders as Carlos Trangia, Bello Timdasan and Grace Curso from Barug Katawhan; Juland Suazo from environmentalist group Panalipdan; Sheena Duazo of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan; Tony Salubre of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas; Mae Fe Ancheta-Templa of Balsa Mindanao and a Lenny Camino.
Cascolan explained that they are just doing their responsibility, which is to preserve order in their area of responsibility.
He explained that the objective of the residents would never justify their form of protest.
"Their means is wrong," Cascolan said.
In a statement, Barug Katawhan remarked that the case is a form of political harassment in an attempt to pacify the rage of the residents.
"It is actually an attack against thousands of typhoon victims who deserve a sustainable environment and equitable relief services," Barug Katawhan said.
The ComVal PNP brushed off the allegations explaining that the protesters must appreciate that maximum tolerance was exercised during the incident.
"They must now answer it in the court," Cascolan added.
Barug Katawhan said they would continue their vigilance in monitoring government relief and rehabilitation services in the affected areas.
"We appeal for your support to expose and oppose this harassment. The typhoon survivors and their support groups will not be cowed. The people are rising to demand justice for the people and environment," Juland Suazo posted in his Facebook timeline.
More than 5,000 residents and militants occupied the national highway in Montevista on January 15 for more than 10 hours paralyzing the only supply route for towns affected by Typhoon Pablo.
Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman and ComVal Governor Arturo Uy personally talked with the protesters to urge them to voluntarily disperse which ended up in a shouting match after several deadlocks in the negotiations.
Hours before midnight, the residents lifted their barricade after the local government agreed on the minimum demands of the protesters.
At least 1,900 family packs and 100 bags of rice were distributed while Soliman committed to add 10,000 bags of rice. - Rappler.com
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