Residents of Sitio San Roque cannot seem to catch a break after the police harassed the community kitchen they have been operating for three days.
In an urgent alert, the group Save San Roque said about 15 Quezon City Police District officers arrived at two areas in their community to tear down placards asking the government for more help.
“Despite the peaceful volunteerism at our community kitchen, about 15 police officers descended upon us to tear down our placards asking for help,” the group said on its Facebook page.
Save San Roque said the police arrived at around 10 o’clock in the morning and left after an hour.
The police action was upon the directive of the QCPD Station 2 commander, the group said.
|The Philippine National Police-National Capital Region Command website identifies Lt. Colonel Rodrigo Soriano as Station 2 commander.|
Save San Roque had been operating community kitchens after the community started receiving relief donations from private individuals following the arrest of 21 residents accused by the police and government officials, including President Rodrigo Duterte, of holding a rally last April 1.
It turned out that the residents only massed up along Epifanio delos Santos Avenue upon hearing that local and national government officials were about to hand out relief items.
Despite Quezon City mayor Joy Belmonte’s request to the QCPD not to press charges, the Department of Interior and Local Government announced it will push ahead in filing charges against those arrested.
In a surprise address later that evening, Duterte threatened to kill participants of protest actions in direct reference to those arrested.
The arrests and Duterte’s threats have resulted in an outpouring of help to the beleaguered residents, with private individuals offering to pay the bail for those arrested.
Groups have also started to give food packs to the residents, allowing Save San Roque and the Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap to operate two community kitchens in the area.
The Sitio San Roque incident inspired #OustDuterteNow tweets on social media that trended for days since the incident. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)