MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – On Thursday, August 24, at least two cops arrived at a protest rally organized by students of the Ateneo de Manila University and reportedly asked for the names of leaders and organizers. The activity was intended to show sympathy for victims of the administration's bloody war on drugs.
The Ateneo gathering was just one of the many pocket rallies triggered by the death of 17-year-old Kian delos Santos in a police operation in Caloocan City. He is among the 81 killed in the latest wave of "one-time, big-time" anti-drug operations in Metro Manila and surrounding areas.
In a Facebook post, The Guidon, Ateneo’s official news publication, said that two policemen reportedly asked for the names of the leaders of the gathering – an old tactic used by policemen to intimidate protesters, according to netizens.
The post said that organizers advised the attendees "to enter school premises, and disperse safely."
The Guidon also said the police car that parked along Gate 2.5 of the university did not have a license plate.
The photo, posted at 10 pm on Thursday, August 24, went viral overnight. As of posting, it elicited at least 3,000 reactions and was shared at least 2,700 times.
Here are some reactions from netizens:
According to The Guidon, around 40 to 50 people attended the rally, including faculty members, and high school and undergraduate students.
The rally was held on the same day that a Senate panel probed the killing of Delos Santos. During the hearing, the police admitted that they "confirmed" – through an arrested drug pusher and on social media – the minor's "drug ties" only after he was killed. (READ: Kian drug ties confirmed via social media? Netizens slam PNP)
Chief Inspector Amor Cerillo, police community precinct commander, also testified at the Senate hearing that the leader of the drug raid shot the teenager. – Rappler.com