Davao City police mulls charges vs. militant leaders

The Davao City Police Office (DCPO) is mulling charges against two militant leaders for allegedly luring students into joining protest rallies at the Freedom Park on Tuesday and in Lasang on Monday.

Both rallies obstructed the flow of goods and people for more than three hours which earned the ire of Mayor Sara Z. Duterte.

Senior Insp. Ma Theresita Gaspan, DCPO spokesperson, told reporters during the AFP-PNP press briefing at the Royal Mandaya Hotel on Wednesday local police authorities are preparing possible charges against Antonio Tinio of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT-Teachers) and Ariel Casilao of Anakpawis.

“Sila ang atong giandaman karon ug possible case (We are preparing a case against them),” Gaspan said.

For the Freedom Park rally, Gaspan said, DCPO is eyeing a case of child exploitation, and illegal public assembly for the Lasang incident.

Gaspan said police authorities are still looking into the result of the investigation prior to filing of cases against the two militant leaders.

On Tuesday, Mayor Sara lambasted Tinio and Casilao on social media for allegedly luring young people –some of whom are said to be minors — to join the disruptive mass actions.

She said Casilao does not deserve to be in Congress and called on the House Ethics Committee for his expulsion.

The mayor also slammed Tinio for recruiting students to join the protest on a school day.

Duterte said the lawmakers should have the basic decency of putting children in schools instead of “exploiting their situation and luring them into joining demonstrations.”

A police report said that at around 9:45 a.m. on Tuesday, some 150 members of left-leaning groups coming from different parts of the Davao Region held a protest rally at the Freedom Park here.

The rally was organized by Anak Pawis, ACT-Teachers, Kadamay, Kilusang Mayo Uno and Gabriela, and led by Tinio and Casilao. (PNA/Rhoda Grace Saron)