Press Release
October 25, 2016


Senator Richard J. Gordon thumbed down proposals for the Senate to immediately step in and start an investigation on the recent violent dispersal of protesters in front of the United States (US) Embassy in Manila where protestors and policemen were hurt, saying that the law should be allowed to take its course first.

While admitting that there was an excessive use of force during the dispersal, Gordon said the Philippine National Police (PNP) should be allowed to conduct an investigation first and impose sanctions. He added the Senate could launch a probe if they find the sanctions against the involved police officers lacking.

"I don't think so. Mag-iimbestiga kami kapag hindi nila ginawa yun sanction, kapag hindi nila pinarusahan. I can motu proprio conduct an investigation. But let's give democracy, the rule of law a chance to operate. Ang rule of law, may batas tayo. Gawin ninyo ang batas. Kapag hindi ninyo ini-enforce wala tayong rule of law. Kapag hindi ninyo ginawa yan, we will investigate. Ako naniniwala ako na dapat pagbigayan muna ninyo ang gobyerno na ipairal muna yun batas na ginawa namin. May batas yan eh. Kapag hindi nila pinairal ang batas, kami ang papasok," the senator said.

"Hayaan mo sila mag-imbestiga. Ang tawag namin diyan exhaustion of administrative remedies... Kapag ginawa nila 'yun at hindi satisfied ang Senado, iimbestigahan namin yun," he added.

Gordon pointed out that the shoe is on the PNP's foot at the moment since the PNP chief, the National Capital Regional Police Office chief, and the PNP regional director have summary powers TO expel and suspend erring PNP members.

"Ang sabi ko sa inyo, merong summary powers ang PNP chief, merong summary powers yung chief ng NCRPO. Meron ding summary powers ang mga regional director to expel and to suspend. Pwede ding labanan sa PLEBs (People's Law Enforcement Board) yan. Pero mas maganda yung pulis dahil pulis nila ang nakasakit at nanagasa. Dapat ipakita nila na hindi tino-tolorate yun ganyang mga bagay - kahit na napakapangit na, binabato na, pinapalo na sila kung walang threat to life hindi mo pwedeng patayin ang kalaban mo," he explained.

Gordon said the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, which he chairs, would investigate if, after the PNP has conducted an investigation, there is malfeasance, misfeasance or nonfeasance. Malfeasance means performance of an act which ought not to be done; while misfeasance means improper performance of an act which might be properly be performed. On the other hand, nonfeasance means omission of an act which ought to be done.

Several protesters and policemen were injured after Manila policemen dispersed an anti-US rally near the US Embassy last week. One of the videos shot during the dispersal showed a police vehicle accelerating both forward and in reverse, hitting several protesters in the process. PO3 Franklin Kho, the driver of the vehicle, received flak for his actions.

Chief Supt. Oscar Albayalde, NCRPO director, has ordered the relief of Senior Supt. Marcelino Pedrozo and eight other Manila Police District officers involved in the dispersal, including Kho.

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