TEN Manila Police District (MPD) police officers are now facing multiple criminal charges for the violent dispersal of protesters near the United States Embassy in Manila last Wednesday, October 19.
The cops were charged for multiple attempted murders, serious physical injuries, unlawful arrest, grave misconduct, grave abuse of authority, and violations of the rights of arrested and detained persons under Republic Act 7438 or the Rights of the Accused.
Individuals who were injured during the dispersal filed the raps before the Ombudsman on Wednesday, October 26.
Some of the complainants include Argee “Piya” Macliing Malayao, Nicole Soria, Raymart Sumalbag, Reynaldo Moldon, Dionesio P. Abear, Dr. Julie P. Caguiat, Reyan C. Naong, and Baling Catubigan. They were accompanied by Atty. Ephraim Cortez of the National Union of People’s Lawyers.
Named in the complaint were Senior Supt. Marcelino Pedrozo, MPD deputy district director for operations; PO3 Franklin Kho, who drove a police van running over the crowd of protesters; Supt. Albert Barot, Ermita police station (PS5) chief and ground commander; Chief Insps. Dionelle Brannon, Elmer Oseo and Roberto Marinda; Senior Insps. Roberto Mangune and Edgardo Orongan; and Insp. Joebie Astucia.
National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director Chief Supt. Oscar David Albayalde was separately charged with the obstruction of justice for his statements “justifying the acts” of the policemen over the dispersal.
At least 20 protesters and 30 police officers were reportedly injured in the dispersal conducted by MPD personnel last week.
Cortez said the injuries that the protesters sustained “obviously had an intent to kill when inflicted.”
The protesters, mostly part of the national minority and peasant groups from across the country, came to demand an end to the presence of U.S. troops in the country, and to back President Rodrigo Duterte’s call for an independent foreign policy.
“There is no place for the likes of Senior Supt. Marcelino Pedrozo and PO3 Franklin Kho, and the rest of the 200 PNP personnel who orchestrated the violent dispersal, in this government that has sincerely taken steps towards just peace and an independent foreign policy,” Jerome Succor Aba, a Moro leader and co-convener of Sandugo, remarked.
Aba said they were seeking to “set a precedent for the promise of justice under the new administration by filing a case against these police criminals.”
On the other hand, the MPD said it was prepared to face the charges, adding that its own investigation will be fair.