Sunday, January 21, 2007
What was supposed to be a peaceful protest against the illegal transfer of convicted rapist Lance Corporal Daniel Smith to US custody turned into a demonstration of sheer police brutality. We honestly didn't realize the extent of the police's cruelty until after the action when we were tending to the seriously injured and when we finally saw the TV news footages.
I myself was quite oblivious to the intense action at the 'frontlines' because I was too busy wielding off attempts by police in civilian clothes to grab my backpack. Ground Commander Jojo Rosales (I'll never forget his freakin' ugly face!) personally accosted me and tried to order his men to arrest me if it were not for the intervention (again!) of my friends from the media (salamat uli, Aaron!). I still have bruises on my back from his filthy heavy hands.
We filed a consolidated complaint at the Commission on Human Rights immediately the day after. Even CHR Commissioner Purificacion Quisumbing was HORRIFIED by the mercilessness and unlawfulness displayed by the PNP. Our thanks especially to GMA's Cesar Apolinario for his initiative to bring the network news? footages of the dispersal to complement our low-resolution video stills.
Commissioner Quisumbing summarized the police's violation of BP 880 for us. My friend Vencer said that he wanted to hug the kind old lady for her sympathetic statements.:
1. the police were not in complete uniform. Some were in civilian clothes and most were not wearing name plates.
2. the police were ARMED (evidence of which was caught on video)
3. the police violated the 100-meter required distance from the protesters
4. the police refused to negotiate with the protesters
5. the police illegally detained two of the protesters. One of them, Gwen, a minor, was handcuffed.
6. it was very obvious in the video footages that the police had every intention of MAIMING AND INFLICTING HARM on the protesters and DID NOT PRACTICE MAXIMUM TOLERANCE
7. the police failed to extend medical and physical aid to those already visibly injured during the dispersal. It was the media along with the other protesters who helped those who have already fallen.
Investigation is underway and the seriously injured are set to file criminal charges. Allen, the PUP student caught on video being whacked at the neck by a police truncheon, is still indisposed to this day. Grabe na talaga ang pasismo ng pulis at ng estado. Brutus, also a PUP student and who acquired 4 stitches from the blow to his head, aptly delivered the youth's message in a TV interview, "Ang gusto namin ay managot ang mga pulis na 'yan. Ang mga pulis ay dapat pinoprotektahan ang kabataan, pero ang nangyari ay sila pa ang dahilan kung bakit kami nasaktan at lalong nagagalit sa pamahalaan."
(visit arkibongbayan.org for photos and footages)
Last January 19 was the 1st National Convention of KABATAAN PARTYLIST at the San Juan Gymnasium.
The event was a success, attended by roughly 2,000 KABATAAN supporters. Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano, Mayor JV Ejercito, Mrs. Jewel Pimentel (wife of Atty. Coco Pimentel) and Ms. Ciara Sotto (daughter of former Sen. Tito Sotto) graced the activity.
The highlight of the convention, without question, was Mong?s (that?s Raymond Palatino for you, KABATAAN PARTYLIST National President and #1 Nominee) 'taktak mo!' stint. Hehe. Taktak Mong! ;-p