During the Black Nazarene Translation, House Deputy Minority Leader and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate and fellow Bayan Muna Rep. Eufemia Cullamat scored Friday the Philippine National Police’s “heavy handling” of devotees.
He said several police officers strangled a devotee in some pictures, and in others, they manipulated and arrested a devotee.
He noted that the GMA7 reporter Jun Veneracion’s phone was even taken and confiscated by a police general, who then recorded the incident.
He said the PNP’s violent behavior is out of hand.
On the other hand, Cullamat said the incident calls for an investigation into the alleged violations of human rights allegedly committed by the police.
She said this is how the police act in rural areas, leading to injuries and the deaths of farmers and indigenous people.
But earlier in the day, during Thursday’s Translacion, the Manila Police District defended their actions.
MPD Chief Police Brigadier General Bernabe Balba, interviewed on Dobol B sa News TV, said that strict crowd management measures were implemented to prevent mass casualties.
On his part, Nolasco Bathan, the one who seized the phone of a reporter, said he didn’t know Veneracion is a journalist. He stressed that he followed orders to preserve peace and order.
However, during the widespread Black Nazarene procession in Manila, the Palace defended the security measures set by the police.