The House Committee on Human Rights yesterday recommended filing charges against officers of the Manila Police District (MPD) who, in 2016, figured in the violent dispersal of protesters in front of the United States Embassy in Manila.
Recommended for criminal prosecution were then MPD deputy director for operations and overall supervisor Senior Supt. Marcelino Pedroso, PO3 Franklin Kho and PO1 all Mark John Millares, Anthony Amores and Hermit Caligagan.
The incident happened on 19 October 2016 during which Kho ran over and “nearly killed” several protesters with a police vehicle.
Millares, Amores and Calilagan were identified by the MPD Intelligence Division as the ones who allegedly mauled jeepney driver Raymark Sumalbag.
Rep. France Castro proposed the inclusion of Pedroso “for being responsible and accountable for his orders.” The committee said Pedroso was the one who triggered the violent dispersal.
The House committee stressed that while the rally did not have the necessary permits from the local government of Manila, the dispersal of the protest should have been done in a peaceful manner.
In particular, Kho’s acts “showed blatant disregard for standard police operation procedure,” and his alibi that “he felt the impulse to protect his own life does not seem credible.”
Aside from recommending the filing of criminal charges against the five policemen, the committee also pushed a mandatory human rights education and training on all policemen and a review of the Philippine National Police Manual of Operational Procedures, the Internal Affairs Service procedures and Batas Pambansa 880 (Public Assembly Act of 1985).