PNP deny saying 220K attended Leni rally

SEA OF PINK A drone shot of the crowd that attended the campaign rally of presidential aspirant Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo and her running mate Sen. Francis ‘Kiko’ Pangilinan in Pampanga on Saturday night, April 9, 2022. Police and organizers estimate that about 220,000 people attended. PHOTO FROM TEAM KIKO

THE Philippine National Police (PNP) on Sunday claimed as “fake news” reports that it supplied the number of people who attended the rally of Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo in San Fernando, Pampanga.

Reports claimed that 220,000 supporters joined the event.

Police Regional Office (PRO) 3 chief BGen. Matthew Baccay said the figure did not come from the police. The crowd estimate, he said, came from the rally organizers and not the PNP members tasked to secure the event.

“The estimate of 220,000 came from the organizers, we are not in the business of making estimates, we provide route and area security only,” Baccay said.

Robredo and her running mate, Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, led the grand rally in San Fernando City, Pampanga.

Baccay said the venue used for the activity can only hold an estimated 70,000 people.

“We remain apolitical, and it is our fervent hope that NLE (national local elections) 2022 will be safe, accurate, free and fair,” Baccay said.

Earlier, the PRO 3 said on its Facebook page that it did not release any official statement on the event as to the number of attendees and other details.

“[Police] personnel are deployed at the venue solely to ensure public safety and security,” it added.

“Based on our assessment of the crowd, we have a rough estimate of 70,000 supporters and volunteers, mostly coming from the youth sector from the different towns and provinces such as the National Capital Region, Bulacan, Bataan, Tarlac and Nueva Ecija, and not 200,000 as being claimed on media and other social media platforms since the event area can only hold a maximum of 70,000 persons at a time, as per mall management, during the series of meetings prior to the holding of the event,” LtCol. Eugene Marcelo, acting police chief of San Fernando, Pampanga, said.

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