Members of the Philippine National Police may face criminal, civil and administrative charges due to the confiscation of placards, and continuous redtagging of activists.
According to the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL), confiscating placards and other materials used by activists during protest actions is a clear violation of their constitutional right of free speech.
Last January 14, the PNP from Kalibo, Aklan confiscated the placards of Bayan Aklan and Rise Up Aklan while they were joining the annual merrymaking or sadsad as part of the celebration of the Ati-atihan festival.
Furthermore NUPL said that despite that activists did not violate any laws and for the police to confiscate the placards just because they do not approve what was written, was a clear violation of the activist’s rights. The actions taken by the Kalibo PNP demonstrates the tyrannical characteristic of the Police.
In another incident, the PNP Regional Office 6 through their official Facebook page, once more redtagged activists who held a picket protest in front of Camp Delgado last January 15, 2020.
In one of their facebook post, the PNP Regional Office 6 calls out activists for fooling and deceiving the people at the same time describing them as a nuisance to society. They also pointed out the alleged connection of Bayan Muna, Gabriela, and Kadamay to the Communist Party of the Philippines.
During the election period last year, the PNP has been posting on their Facebook page at the same time conducting activities to discredit and sabotage the candidacy of progressive Partylists and their ally organizations.
Some activities recorded by the NUPL were the redtagging done in a school in the Province of Antique, wherein the PNP held a concert, as well as in different schools here in Iloilo City, which was conducted through the National Service Training Program (NSTP) and meetings within different Baranggays.
According to the NUPL, all of these violates the constitutional right of the People to free speech and to self organize at the same time endangers the lives of the activists./panaytoday.net