NEWS RELEASE 08 March, 2013
The premier human rights alliance KARAPATAN-Central Visayas is questioning the use of a “hot car” in police surveillance of today’s celebrations of International Women’s Day.
During the rally of Gabriela Women’s Party at Fuente Osmena this morning, intelligence assets were seen converging at an olive-green KIA Rio sedan with plate number YGD 234. The police assets would take photos of the speakers and participants in the rally and then present their shots at a police officer manning the said vehicle.
The vehicle turned out to be the same car used in a series drive-by shootings last year. It was surrendered by the parents of the suspects to the Cebu Intelligence Branch of the Cebu City PNP office.
“It is highly irregular that an object of a crime is conveniently appropriated by the police for their own illicit purposes. Official or unofficial, such appropriation is just as condemnable as the purpose of its use, which is to curtail a peaceful assembly,” said Dennis Abarientos, secretary-general of KARAPATAN-Central Visayas.
Abarientos said that they will raise the complaint before the Office of Ombudsman and the Land Transportation Office on the possible criminal liability of the PNP-CIB.
He also urged the PNP-Regional Internal Affairs Service to initiate its own investigation and dispel notion that using “recovered items” in its operations is a regular practice.###