#ReleaseCebu7: Groups condemn arrest of protesters in Cebu
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Netizens and several militant groups nationwide condemned the arrest of seven activists who staged a protest-rally against the Anti-Terror Bill (ATB) in front of a state university here on Friday, June 5, 2020.
The hashtag #ReleaseCebu7 trended on Philippine Twitter with over 20,000 tweets on Friday morning, condemning the arrest of seven protesters and calling for their immediate release.
Information from Bagong Alyansa Makabayan (Bayan) in Central Visayas showed that those who were brought to police custody were Jaime Paglinawan, chairperson of BAYAN Central Visayas; Joahanna Veloso of National Union of Students of the Philippines; UP alumnus Al Ingking; Bern Cañedo of YANAT CEBU; Dyan Gumanao of Kabataan Partylist; Nar Porlas; and Janry Ubal of Food Not bombs Cebu.
Those who joined the calls on Twitter included Representative Sarah Elago of Kabataan Partylist, the University of the Philippines (UP) Office of the Student Regent, Anakbayan – Cebu, and the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP).
Kakie Pangilinan, daughter of celebrity Sharon Cuneta and Senator Francis Pangilinan, also announced in a tweet that a group of lawyers will be providing free legal assistance to those who were arrested.
Netizens also organized a fund drive to finance the legal assistance of those who were arrested.
Police in Cebu City said they brought the individuals to their custody in Camp Sotero Cabahug in Gorordo Avenue after the latter repeatedly did not heed to their warnings to disperse. They added that mass gatherings in public places are still not allowed in areas under GCQ.
Section 14 of Executive Order (EO) No. 79 which laid down the guidelines for the city’s GCQ phase stated that ‘mass gatherings such as, but not limited to, movie screenings, concerts, sporting events, and other establishment activities, community assemblies, cockpit operations, and non-essential work gatherings shall be prohibited’.
Exemptions were granted on ‘critical government services and authorized humanitarian activities’ provided that health protocols are being implemented. /bmjo
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