The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Sunday said maximum tolerance would be exercised during the June 12-Independence Day "mañanita" protest.
PNP spokesperson Police Brigadier General Bernard Banac told GMA News Online that authorities would give the protesters enough time to disperse peacefully.
“Well, hangga’t maari, hindi natin ito gagawin,” said Banac when asked if protesters would be arrested for the “mañanita” amid community quarantine requirements.
“Tayo po ay makikiusap muli sa kanila at bibigyan ng sapat na panahon upang sila ay peacefully mag-disperse. Maximum tolerance po ang ating isasagawa,” he added.
However, Banac noted that the police response would also depend on protesters' behaviour as they would inevitably be asked to disperse.
“Nais natin ipaalala muli na hindi po tayo mas mataas sa batas. Tayo po ay sumunod sa panuntunan bilang responsible Filipino citizens,” Banac told GMA News Online.
Banac added that the PNP highly discourages staging protests in light of the measures implemented against the spread of COVID-19.
“Maari natin itong gawin through online,” he added.
According to Banac, the deployment of police officers during the mañanita protest would be similar in number to the deployment for community quarantine enforcement.
On Saturday, rights group Movement Against Tyranny announced that a mañanita protest calling for the junking of the anti-terror bill and standing up against tyranny would be held on June 12.
“Mga ka-Mañanita, muli tayong magsama-sama at yanigin ang gobyernong nagtatangkang supilin ang ating mga batayang karapatan. Kitakits sa June 12!” the group said in a Facebook post.
The event was named after National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Police Major General Debold Sinas' birthday celebration, which was held despite the prohibition against mass gathering, including parties, under the enhanced community quarantine.
On Saturday, Senator Francis Pangilinan also advised protesters to call their gatherings a "mañanita" to avoid arrests or charges, much like in Sinas' case. — DVM, GMA News