Philippine National Police

Court orders arrest of cop who drove vehicle that ran over protesters in 2016

Jairo Bolledo

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Court orders arrest of cop who drove vehicle that ran over protesters in 2016

VIOLENT. The police's violent dispersal on October 19, 2016.

Rob Reyes/ Rappler

Police Staff Sergeant Franklin Kho faces three counts of attempted homicide because of the incident

MANILA, Philippines – A Manila court has ordered the arrest of the cop who drove the police vehicle, which ran over activists during a rally in 2016.

Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 7 Presiding Judge Carissa Anne Manook-Frondozo issued a warrant of arrest against Police Staff Sergeant Franklin Kho in an order dated June 26. The court said it found probable cause to order Kho’s arrest, who faces three counts of attempted homicide. BAYAN chairperson Renato Reyes shared the warrant to the public on Wednesday, July 10.

Meanwhile, the court also recommended P36,000 bail for Kho to allow him to avail provisional liberty.

In 2016, protesters and police clashed in front of the United States Embassy in Manila after cops dispersed the rally of indigenous peoples, who protested against military and US presence in their ancestral lands. Kho was driving the police vehicle which rammed through the protesters. Kho drove the vehicle forward, then reversed, leaving protesters hurt and at least one man stuck under the police vehicle. 

Then-Metro Manila police chief Oscar Albayalde said the police vehicle hit the protesters, but insisted the driver was not at fault. Albayalde made the statement even though the investigation was still underway at the time. Later, at least nine cops, including Kho, were relieved from their posts.

The Philippine National Police even said there was no reason for the Manila cop to ram through protesters.

After the incident, the victims filed a complaint with the Ombudsman against Kho. The complainants include Katribu Secretary General Argee Malayao, Nicole Soria, Raymart Sumalbag, Reynaldo Moldon, Dionesio Abear, Julie Caguiat, Reyan Naong, and Baling Catubigan. –

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Jairo Bolledo

Jairo Bolledo is a multimedia reporter at Rappler covering justice, police, and crime.