Palace condemns violent protest held in front of Aquino residence

Posted on December 01, 2014

MALACAÑANG YESTERDAY condemned what it described a “violent” protest by militant groups in front of President Benigno S. C. Aquino III’s home in Times Street, Quezon City.

The clash between around 150 protesters and the police occurred Saturday morning, as the militant group protested human rights violations and military actions in rural communities in the wake of the 151st birth anniversary of Andres Bonifacio, a revolutionary leader during the Spanish colonial rule over the Philippines. Twelve Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel were injured in the confrontation, Communications Secretary Herminio B. Coloma, Jr. said in a radio interview aired over state-run Radyo ng Bayan.

An activist leader, identified by the protesters as Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas Secretary-General Antonio Flores, was later arrested and is currently being held at Camp Karingal.

“What the rallyists did in terms of vandalism and inflicting injuries on members of the PNP clearly exceeded the maximum limits of the freedom of expression at hindi po pahihintulutan ng pamahalaan na maulit ang kaganapang ‘yan (The government will not allow incidents like this to happen again),” Mr. Coloma said in a radio interview aired over state-run Radyo ng Bayan.

The Palace spokesman noted that the demonstrators asked that they be allowed to hold their protest for 10 more minutes as their program was winding down, which the PNP allowed. But instead of peacefully conducting their protest, the militant groups “attacked and hurt” the policemen, and vandalized the grounds in front of Mr. Aquino’s house, that of a neighbor’s, and a police vehicle.

The PNP has filed cases against protesters who stormed the President’s home.

“As reported by Police Senior Superintendent Joel D. Pagdilao, Quezon City Police District chief, cases of illegal assembly, direct assault upon an agent or person in authority, serious physical injury and vandalism were filed by the PNP against Antonio Flores, secretary-general of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas and other leaders of the protesters,” Mr. Coloma said.

He added that “after evaluating the evidence presented, Assistant City Prosecutor Pedro Tresvalles, established the existence of probable cause and recommended the filing of several cases. -- Imee Charlee C. Delavin