Police Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ de la Rosa was angry and sad regarding the violent dispersal done by the PNP members in front of the US Embassy in Manila.
This was the reaction of the PNP Chief upon watching the video footage of the violent dispersal of anti-American protesters on Wednesday.
At least 20 protesters and 30 police officers were injured during the violent dispersal of leftist protesters by personnel of the Manila Police District (MPD).
Police Senior Supt. Marcelino Pedrozo, the ground commander at the rally, was caught on camera ordering the violent dispersal and the police van rammed and run over some protesters, resulting to injuries.
In his statement read by PNP spokesman, Senior Supt. Dionardo Carlos during a press briefing on Thursday in Camp Crame, De la Rosa said, “Nakakalungkot at nakakagalit (It made me angry and sad). I saw people get hurt. I watched the video. I don’t like it when a Filipino gets hurt).”
Despite of this, the PNP Chief refused to let emotions get the best of him, and he promised to look into the incident and “deal with it swiftly and decisively”.
The PNP Chief, despite the violence that occurred at the US Embassy, said that the police force recognized and upheld the right to peaceful assembly of the citizens.
He added that the police force was under strict instructions to exercise maximum tolerance in public assemblies, with public safety and protection of human life being the priority.
According to the PNP Chief, an investigation and full review of police procedures were underway, and sanctions would be imposed on any personnel guilty of putting lives at risk.
Dela Rosa confirmed that President Rodrigo Duterte had already been informed about the incident, which happened while he is on a four-day official visit in China.
Now the priority was to look into the welfare of the victims and make sure that they were safe and recovering well.
Following the incident, nine police officers were ordered relieved for investigation in the wake of the bloody incident, including PO3 Franklin Kho, the driver of the police mobile.