Police defended Tuesday why did they confiscate the church attendees’ placards and other protest materials during a Mass in Quiapo Church, Monday afternoon.
Manila Police District chief Rolando Miranda told ABS-CBN’s TeleRadyo that the church’s staff reported to the police that some who attended the Holy Mass were holding placards protesting the anti-terror law.
Authorities also have photos of protesters’ displaying the placards while the Mass is ongoing.
“Kung ikaw ay magsisimba at mananalangin ka sa Poong Maykapal sa Black Nazarene, hindi mo kailangang magdala ng placard sa loob ng simbahan at ilabas ang mga placard habang kayo’ a nananalangin. Ano ba ang layunin mo pag nagsimba? Manalangin at magdasal, ipagdasal ang bayan, ipagdasal ang sarili, ipagdasal ang kaibigan. Hindi para iladlad ang mga placard na nakalagay ‘No to Anti-terror,'” he said.
(If you go to church and pray to the Lord God in the Black Nazarene, you do not have to carry a placard inside the church and take out the placards while you are praying. What is your purpose when you go to church? Pray, pray for people, pray for yourself, pray for your friend. Not to unveil the placards that read ‘No to Anti-terror’.)
Miranda also explained why they did not wait for the Mass to finish before seizing the materials. “Kapag ganun ang mangyayari, magkakaroon ng commotion [if that’s the case, there would be a commotion],” he said.
The official insisted authorities did not make a scene when they confiscated the protest materials during the Holy Mass.
“Hindi naman po nagkaroon ng commotion, wala naman pong nakapansin na kinuha…Mas nakakawalang-galang na may linaladlad kayong placard habang may nagmimisa,” he said.
(There was no commotion, no one noticed that it was taken. It is more disrespectful that you are displaying a placard while someone the Mass is ongoing.)
No one was arrested during the confiscation.
Meanwhile, Akbayan party-list denied that any of their members were displaying the placards during the Mass. They also said they would file charges against the police.