The Philippine National Police on Friday urged the public to report its troops who dismantle election posters and tarps because they are not authorized to do so, as complaints mount from supporters of Vice President Leni Robredo.
Police can only secure Comelec personnel while they check campaign materials on display for size, PNP spokesperson Jean Fajardo told Teleradyo.
"Dapat po talaga hindi po nagpa-participate ang any member ng PNP sa aktwal na pagbabaklas po at pagtatanggal po ng illegal campaign materials. Dapat po ang kanilang participation ay limited po sa pag-provide ng security doon sa mga naatasang magbaklas nitong campaign materials," Fajardo told TeleRadyo.
Policemen caught in viral videos removing posters and tarpaulins from private properties, along with their immediate supevisors, will be asked to explain, Fajardo said. They could face grave misconduct and abuse of authority charges, she said.
Addressing the public, Fajardo said: "If they feel po na nalabag ang kanilang karapatan, puwede sila dumulog sa any police station para sila po ay maalalayan at ma-secure din po at mapaparating po natin ang kanilang complaint sa Comelec po."
Robredo's lawyer Romulo Macalintal said earlier that private citizens could refuse authorities entry to their homes to take down campaign materials because it violates the right to privacy and freedom of expression.
Lawyer Chel Diokno said Thursday private citizens could file civil, administrative or criminal cases against policemen and Comelec personnel for illegal entry without a search warrant.