[Blueboard] On the 8/24 gathering at Gate 2.5

Office of the President [OP] president at ateneo.edu
Sat Aug 26 09:20:04 +08 2017

[image: Inline image 1]

25 August 2017

Memo to         :           The University Community

Subject            :           On the 8/24 gathering at Gate 2.5

On 24 August 2017, a group of Ateneo alumni, faculty, staff and students
came together at Gate 2.5 to express their continued indignation over the
government's war on drugs. Their program consisted of a noise barrage and a
calling of names of the dead due to Operation Tokhang.

At 7 pm, as the event was winding down, a police car with no plate number
bearing two policemen parked by the curbside of Gate 2.5. The two policemen
alighted and began to ask some of the participants what the reason was for
the assembly and who the leaders of the event were. The participants gave
no answers and quickly dispersed and left the premises.

Today, the Ateneo Campus Security and Mobility Office (CSMO) had the
opportunity to dialogue with the Quezon City Police District (QCPD), headed
by Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar, Police Chief Superintendent, to
clarify matters. Gen. Eleazar conveyed his reassurance that the presence of
the police yesterday was not meant to intimidate or harass the participants
of the mobilization. It was to provide protection and assist in traffic
control. He clarified that the police vehicle was newly issued by local
government and thus, although registered, had no available plate yet. He
apologized if the community felt threatened and unsafe due to their

At the meeting, the Ateneo and the QCPD promised to work together to ensure
proper coordination and communication when such activities are organized.
As far as the University is concerned, the CSMO is the office that shall
interface with QCPD on such activities. And I call on everyone in the
community to please coordinate with CSMO. As far as the QCPD is concerned,
the police shall comply with keeping appropriate distance from the site of
assembly held in Ateneo grounds; they will remove their firearms if and
when they need to approach to ensure crowd safety; and they will remind
their people to maintain good public relations with the community.

The University takes our police at their word and trusts that they will
keep to these agreements. The University thanks the QCPD for their quick
response and openness to hear out our concerns and issues. The University
maintains its right to freedom of speech and freedom of peaceful assembly.
I ask the community to remain calm, vigilant and prudent and I reassure you
of our support as you continue to fight for the remembrance of all the
innocent victims of this drug war.


Jose Ramon T Villarin SJ


Office of the President
Ateneo de Manila University
Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights,
Quezon City 1108
Tel No: 63 (02) 426 6001
Fax No: 63 (02) 426 6079
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