BAGUIO CITY – The Acting City Director of the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) apologized to a number of leaders of progressive youth organizations in the city for the inconvenience caused them by the reposted message in the official Facebook page of the local police force warning parents on the alleged illegal recruitment activities of left-leaning youth groups.
BCPO Acting City Director Senior Superintendent Eliseo Tanding assured youth leaders in the city the local police force will not go to the extent of harassing or intimidating leaders of militant youth organizations in the conduct of their activities as law enforcers know the bounds of their duties and responsibilities.
He narrated to the members of the local legislative body and the youth leaders that since he was a student in the city and came back as a junior officer assigned in one of the BCPO stations, he was never aware of any harassment or intimidations done on student leaders identified with left-leaning organizations vocal against the government and had staged various rallies around the city, thus, it will be impossible for the local police force to do such harassment in the present situation.
”We assure our youth leaders we will not go to the extent of harassing or intimidating them for their involvement in the various activities of their organizations,” Tanding stressed.
The police official stood firm that what had been reposted in the official Facebook page of BCPO regarding the warning to parents against the proliferation of left-leaning organizations who might be recruiting their children for their own clandestine activities is part of their efforts to guarantee the safety and security of the public which is one of their mandates.
According to him, the intention of the reposted message is to provide local residents with a warning to look after the welfare of their relative to prevent these from being lured into joining activities of some militant youth organizations that could compromise their studies among other activities.
Local legislators advised the leaders of progressive youth organizations to immediately approach concerned BCPO officials to air their grievances against what they believe as harassment and intimidation against them so that the same could be immediately given the necessary attention instead of having to bring the matter to the local legislative body so as not to delay response.
The BCPO chief also assured residents the local police force will continue to be vigilant against lawless elements and groups.
Youth leaders welcomed the apologies of the BCPO official but reiterated that their activities in the city are intended to voice out their views on what is happening in the national and local scenes considering that their freedom of expression is guaranteed by the Constitution..
On the other hand, human rights officials also advised the BCPO to strike down the reposted message to avoid conclusions of alleged red tagging by the law enforcers against progressive youth groups in the city. By Dexter A. See