Ateneo sets guidelines for cops at rallies: Keep your distance, guns out
The Ateneo de Manila University has entered into an agreement with the director of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) as to how cops should behave in rallies held within the school following an incident which caused unease among students and teachers.
In a note addressed to the ADMU community on Friday (August 25), university president Fr. Jose Ramon “Jett” Villarin disclosed details of his dialogue with Chief Superintendent Guillermo Eleazar regarding the presence of the police at a rally held by students and faculty members against extrajudicial killings.
Villarin said Eleazar assured him the two policemen only stopped by the rally at Gate 2.5 Thursday “to provide protection and traffic control.”
But to avoid spreading unease among members of the Ateneo community in the future, Villarin said he and Eleazar agreed that the school and police should work together to ensure proper coordination and communication concerning rallies.
“As far as the QCPD is concerned, the police shall comply with keeping appropriate distance from the site of assembly held in Ateneo grounds; they will remove their firearms if and when they need to approach to ensure crowd safety; and they will remind their people to maintain good public relations with the community,” Villarin said.
On ADMU’s side, the Campus Security and Mobility Office (CSMO) will be in charge of communicating with the police.
“The University takes our police at their word and trusts that they will keep to these agreements,” Villarin said.
ADMU’s president assured the community that the school maintains its right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.
“I ask the community to remain calm, vigilant and prudent and I reassure you of our support as you continue to fight for the remembrance of all the innocent victims of this drug war,” he said.