Police arrest protesters in Cebu City for violating GCQ guidelines
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Police here said they arrested members of cause-oriented groups who staged a protest in front the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu campus on Friday morning, June 5, 2020, for violating guidelines on mass gatherings while under general community quarantine (GCQ).
Asked about the arrests on protesters rallying against the anti-terrorism bill, Police Lieutenant Colonel Melbert Esguerra, deputy chief for administration of CCPO, said the groups violated the health protocol on social distancing and gatherings of more than 10 persons.
“Unang-una, nasa GCQ pa tayo. Dapat yung mga tao sa labas authorized parin… wala naman sa purpose sa quarantine pass ang rally,” said Esguerra.
(First of all, we’re still under GCQ. Those people who are out should be those authorized…the purpose of the quarantine pass is not for rallies.)
At least seven persons who were members of cause-oriented groups, including Jaime Paglinawan, head of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) in Central Visayas, were arrested by members of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO).
One bystander was also included among those who were made to ride the mobile patrol vehicles.
Police brought those arrested to the Cebu City Police Office headquarters at Camp Sotero Cabahug along Gorordo Avenue pending the filing of appropriate charges. As of this posting, Esguerra said they are still preparing possible charges against the protesters.
The cause-oriented groups were in the middle of their protest when the CCPO police together with the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team arrived and asked them to disperse. Later on, they started arresting protesters.
Some of those who were present started running inside the UP Cebu campus but were still chased by policemen.
Paglinawan, in an interview with the media, said that they have followed health protocols during the protest.
“Unsa among sa? Duna mi katungod nga mag protesta… padung nami ug disperse. Gi hangyo pa namo ang kapulisan nga tiwason. Unsa pa man ilaha? Aron mapakita nga superior sila sa mga sibilyan?” Said Paglinawan.
(What did we do wrong? We have the right to hold a protest…we were going to disperse. We just begged the police that we would just finish up. What else do they want? To show their superiority over civilians?)
WATCH: Statement of Jaime Paglinawan, head of BAYAN Central Visayas, after the arrest of protesters rallying against the anti-terrorism bill outside the UP-Cebu campus on Friday morning, June 5, 2020. | Alven Timtim
Posted by CDN Digital on Thursday, June 4, 2020
The government’s guidelines states that mass gatherings are still prohibited and highly discouraged under GCQ.
Meanwhile, some CCPO policemen are still at the UP Cebu area where other protesters took shelter after the incident in the morning. Reports say there are still 27 individuals in the area. /bmjo
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