By AARON RECUENCO
Critics of President Duterte allegedly hired six passenger ships purposely to be loaded with protesters from the Visayas and Mindanao, national police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa disclosed yesterday.
But Dela Rosa said they still have to validate the information they received about the ships which were reportedly hired to ferry protesters from various parts of the Visayas and Mindanao for today’s September 21 rally at the Luneta in Manila.
“We expect that. While they are having difficulty in getting protesters from Luzon area, they are recruiting gullible natives there in Mindanao,” said Dela Rosa.
The official said they are continuously monitoring the recruitment of protesters as well as the possible infiltration attempts of the New People’s Army (NPA)
“They are also joining the rally. That’s why we are monitoring this because we don’t want the repeat of what happened in Kidapawan that the troops were instigated and this resulted in the firefight,” said Dela Rosa.
Security officials said that the protest action of farmers in Kidapawan City was infiltrated by communist rebels who allegedly fired the first shot, which eventually led to the violent confrontation.
At least one protester died while more than a dozen were wounded.
Dela Rosa said they will be implementing maximum tolerance in today’s protest action but appealed to the rally organizers to police their own ranks.
“They can air their gripes up to high heavens but they should not step on the rights of other people,” said Dela Rosa.
President Duterte has ordered suspension of government works and public school classes today and even declared September 21 as National Day of Protest.
On the part of the police, Dela Rosa said they will just monitor the events as Duterte has ordered them to go back to barracks when the rally starts.