Martial Law in Bacolod. PNP used brute force against bus owners

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Is there an undeclared martial law in Bacolod City?

This is a very sad day indeed for the Philippine National Police and even for this government. Police are supposed to protect citizens. Like Lady justice, the Philippine National Police (PNP) are supposed to be blind and impartial.

But what PNP Provincial director Rene Pamuspusan of the PNP provincial office 6 based in Bacolod City is a display of brute force, abuse of power and authority.

Imagine, he deployed 300 of his men just to make four civilians, all businessmen, and board members of a bus company and their small number of employees vacate a repair shop in their compound in Purok Hinaya, Mansilingan in Bacolod.

The mandate of the PNP is clear— maintain peace and order. Use state power to effect stability, not create chaos, confusion and instability.

Cops deployed just to flush out less than 20 civilians in a private compound in Mansilingan Bacolod City.

The question that should be asked—why the overkill? This is overacting. Worse, after the company owners left their corporate premises, look who celebrated? One of the sub-commanders of the PNP who was ordered to swarm the compound of his heavily armed men?

Police Colonel Benliver Capili celebrated his whatever birthday after his men took over the compound from the company owners.

You might ask–what was the sin or the apprehensible act that these owners did to merit such a brutal treatment of the police?

Martial law in Bacolod?

Who ordered the deployment of about 300 heavily armed cops from the Provincial office region 6 of the Philippine National Police (PNP) under the command of Provincial director Police Brigadier General Rene Pamuspusan to literally attack a private compound of a bus company in Mansilingan, Bacolod City? 

Such use of brute force—imagine 300 cops armed to the teeth—deployed in an area which is basically just a manufacturing depot and bus repair shop. 

Cops with riot shields, batons, tear gas and brandishing assault weapons surrounded the Ceres bus corporate compounds last August 8, shortly after padlocking the company’s South terminals a day after, August 7. 

The extreme police action forced Roy Yanson, president of Vallacar Bus Transit which owns the popular Ceres Bus line, to make an appeal before Supreme Court for a writ of amparo to allow the company’s board members to enter and leave the company premises in Purok Hinaya, Mansilingan after cops refused them ingress and engress. 

Seen at the ground zero are Pamuspusan’s men, a certain Police Colonel Benliver Capili of the province Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the city’s chief of police Colonel Henry Binas. Capili and Binas’ men swarmed the compound, and even order a SWAT team to destroy the company’s walls just to allow them to enter.

The forcible entry came inspite of the order by PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde last August 8, directing Pamuspusan, PNP CIDG chief Amador Corpus and their men, Capili snd Binas to stand down.

Albayalde condemned the incident even assured the public that the PNP will remain impartial. The PNP chief also ordered a probe on the order given by its acting chief, Police Colonel Michael John Dubria of the Supervisory Office for Security and Investigation Agencies or SOSIA ordering the replacement of the new security agency, AY-76 with the old security agency of the bus company or AGNSA.

Dubria’s order last August 2 was used by Binas in deploying 300 of his men at the North and South Ceres bus terminals which led to the padlocking of the VTI South terminals in Sambok, Bacolod last August 7. The SOSIA order contravened the former order of Brigadier General Noli Romana of the SOSIA last July 17, 2019 which essentially allowed the assumption of security duties of A-Y76 Security or ASSI over the company’s old security agency, the Armored Guard Negros Security Agency or AGNSA.  

While cops were taking part in dismantling physical structures meant to protect civilian employees and management staff holed up in the bus company’s headquarters, a group of eight to 10 armed men robbed a jewelry store inside Gaisano City Mall in Barangay Singcang-Airport, Bacolod City the night of August 7.

Atty. Philip Sigfrid Fortun, lead counsel of the company and the four board members led by Roy Yanson, his brother Ricky Yanson junior, sisters Celina Yanson-Lopez and Emily Yanson-Ramos, says the action was an “overkill” and a direct violation of their rights as owners of the company.

“ This is too much. Imagine 300 cops threatening a small group of people composed of four board members, some staff, and even my legal team whose attending the needs of our clients inside. …what makes the threat even more apparent is the excessive display of firearms and the overwhelmingly huge number of policemen,” says Fortun in his petition before the Supreme Court.

The police operation caused extreme stress and prevented Roy, the company president, Ricky Yanson, the company Vice President for Maintenance, Celina, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Emily, the Corporate Secretary and Vice President for Administration from dispensing their duties.

The board decided to temporarily vacate the compound premises last August 9 after the cop’s presence heightened security risks especially those of the employees.

For his part, Roy assured employees and the riding public that the board remains in control and managing the group of companies. He, however, vowed to seek justice and held those responsible for this accountable before the courts.

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