Threat to ‘attend brgy meeting on Tokhang or else’ is ILLEGAL – Secretary General of NUPL

A photo of a barangay announcement from Barangay Teachers Village East in Diliman, Quezon City has made waves on social media for its threat of “inviting” residents to attend the meeting, or else police will come knocking at their door.

Facebook user Charlotte Robles Job Despuez posted the photo with emphasis on the threat: “If you do not attend, the police will come knocking at your door.”


The announcement says:

“Rather than have police knocking at doors of your houses, there will be a meeting be conducted by the Quezon City Police District for all residents and homeowners.

  1. All residents and homeowners of Teachers Village East must attend. If you cannot come, please send an adult family representatives;
  2. Only adult family members may come as family representatives. Household help, drivers and maids are not qualified to represent you and the family;
  3. During the meeting, the objectives, processes and methods of Operation Tokhang will be explained. You may ask the questions on this topic and other concerns as well.
  4. If you do not attend or send a qualified family representative, then the police team of Operation Tokhang together with Barangay representatives will come knocking at your door.

The Quezon City Police District kindly consented to a barangay meeting to save you the concerns and trouble of having police from knocking at your door. So please take the effort to attend and participate in this important meeting. Again we reiterate, come personally or send an adult family member as representative. Attendance will be recorded.”

The meeting’s speaker is slated to be the QCPD Police Director Sr. Supt. Guillermo Eleazar.

The announcement was made on November 28, while the meeting was set on December 17 at the barangay covered court.


But Edre Olalia, Secretary General of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) responded to that barangay announcement on his Facebook page.

He said that the terms in the announcement were “patently illegal” because attendance was made “compulsory.”

“Under the terms of the document, this is patently illegal especially if compliance is practically under compulsion even if couched as an “invitation.” Jurisprudence laid down during the Martial Law experience says a forced invitation amounts to an arrest and certain rights attach,” Olalia said.


He said that cops can only go into a citizen’s house or office if they have a valid search warrant.

“The only instance law enforcement agents can go into your home or office is when they have a valid & lawful search warrant issued by a judge and it is generally served during the day only (unless otherwise indicated),” he added.

“The rare exceptions of a warrantless search of one’s home or office do not apply in this context,” he said.

And his advice? The residents can say no if the cops want to enter their homes or offices.

“You can refuse to attend & even refuse to let police in. Ano sila Electrolux salesmen na rin?” Olalia said.

If the police violate this right, he said, “They can be charged with a slew of criminal, civil & admin cases.”

Olalia also has one more piece of advice to those who might be subject of police searches.

“Document (video/photograph) the situation, get names of police & barangay who would force or coerce you, call human rights organizations/lawyers and media,” he said.

Sources: (,


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