PRO-6 vows maximum restraint and tolerance of protest rallies

By Jennifer P. Rendon

The Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) on Friday vowed that maximum restraint and tolerance would be exercised in dealing with poll-related protests and rallies.

In a statement, Brigadier General Flynn Dongbo, Western Visayas police chief, told police officers in the region to respect the rights of the protesters.

But in the same manner, he also appealed to rallyists to remain calm, follow the protest permit’s restrictions, and abide by the rules and regulations in the conduct of assembly.

Dongbo said that field commanders all over the region have been instructed to strictly adhere to his order.

“In dealing with the demonstrators, we already reminded our personnel that they should strictly follow the PNP operational procedures and exercise maximum tolerance at all times,” he said.

It is equally important that police personnel must ensure the safety of both the rallyists and the public, Dongbo added.

It would also be incumbent upon police authorities to make sure that no properties are damaged.

The protest action should not also cause inconveniences, such as traffic congestion and disruption of the normal activities of the people in the areas where they are held.

“We respect everyone’s sentiment and self-expression. However, we are appealing to those who are protesting the outcome of the elections to avoid activities that can disrupt the present peace and order in the communities and always follow existing laws and ordinances,” Dongbo said.

On May 10, PRO-6 recorded four protest actions in the region. Two were in Iloilo City and one each in Bacolod City and Aklan province.