- Senator Ping Lacson said on Thursday that calling the violent dispersal of the protesters in front of the US Embassy "police brutality" is "unfair to the PNP as an institution"
- The officers have been ordered for administrative relief by the incumbent PNP chief Bato dela Rosa and NCRPO director Oscar Albayade confirmed the dismissal
- Senators have reacted to the incident and urged the police for exhaustive probe on the lack for maximum tolerance by the police
Former chief of police-turned-Senator Panfilo "Ping" Lacson, on Thursday, October 20, defended the Philippine National Police against "police brutality" accusations over the violent dispersal of the rallyists in front of the US Embassy in Manila on Wednesday.
According to the Senator, it is "unfair to the Philippine National Police as an institution to be accused of police brutality" because it was "a judgment call made by one policeman behind the wheel of a police van".
Lacson also defended the driver, PO3 Franklin Kho, by saying that the acceleration of the van forward and reverse may have resulted from the driver's feeling of being "threatened by the possibility of being lynched by the protesters".
READ ALSO: Police van rams militants at anti-US rally
PNP chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, has ordered the administrative relief of eight Manila Police District (MPD) officials and the van driver to National Capital Region Police (NCRPO) director, Chief Supt. Oscar Albayalde.
According to Dela Rosa, “Napanood ko ang video at nakakalungkot at nakakagalit. I saw people got hurt. Ayaw na ayaw ko na may nasasaktan na Pilipino."
NCRPO Director Chief Supt. Oscar Albayalde confirmed via a text message that the police officers have been dismissed.
Senators have already expressed their take on the issue.
Senator Miguel Zubiri questioned the process citing the maximum tolerance policy of the police. According to Zubiri, "even during Martial Law, protesters have always known that police and protesters can always negotiate for events covered & even outside if their rally permits."
Senator Leila De Lima has earlier called on to PNP chief Bato dela Rosa to provide immediate action on the incident.
Senate President Koko Pimentel III and Senator Nancy Binay also joined Senator De Lima in calling for exhaustive probe on the incident.
Pimentel also urged the public not to pass judgement with incomplete information, saying, "the video on its own is very disturbing, but is not the whole picture. We must not pass judgment until we know the whole story.”
The president has already reportedly ordered an immediate probe on the incident.