Police ready charges against 7 arrested protesters
Protesters to face charges of violation of the Public Assembly Law, and GCQ Omnibus guidelines
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The seven arrested persons, who were among the groups of cause-oriented protesters holding a rally against the Anti-Terror Bill outside the University of Cebu Campus on Friday morning, June 5, 2020, violated several laws.
These laws they violated were Batas Pambansa (BP) 880 or the Public Assembly Act and the general community quarantine (GCQ) Omnibus Guidelines section 4 paragraph 12 which was the prohibition of mass gatherings, said Police Brigadier General Albert Ignatius Ferro, Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7) director during a press briefing.
Ferro said that they were set to file these charges for these violations against the seven persons who were arrested during the protest rally.
“They are basically endangering the people of Cebu because we are in the pandemic situation. Ngano man sila magprotest diha? They are just exposing (themselves) if they have the disease. They are just spreading the disease to other people,” said Ferro.
But Jamie Paglinawan, head of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) in Central Visayas, said that the protest was peaceful and health protocols such as social distancing were being followed.
“Ang gihimo ganina naa man sa atong balaod nakita man ninyo nga naay social distancing,” said Paglinawan.
(What we did earlier was in line with our laws. You can see that social distancing was observed.)
Paglinawan also said that they were asking the policemen to give them time to finish their protest, but it instead ended up with forceful arrests.
But Ferro said the protesters also disobeyed and resisted persons in authority when they were asked to peacefully disperse, and the protesters ended up pushing some policemen which led to the chase inside the UP Cebu Campus.
Aside from the two charges being prepared against the protesters, Ferro said that they were also investigating reports that some of the protesters were allegedly minors.
Ferro said if it would be proven that there were minors among the protesters then another case would be filed against them.
As of this time, Ferro said the seven persons arrested were undergoing profiling at the Cebu City Police Office in Camp Sotero Cabahug, pending the filing of charges.
According to Bagong Alyansang Makabayan Central Visayas (Bayan Central Visayas), those arrested are Jaime Paglinawan 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.
One bystander identified as Clement Corominas, was also included among those who were made to ride the mobile patrol vehicles.
Meanwhile, the Commission on Human Rights in Central Visayas (CHR-7) will be investigating on the alleged brutality of the arrest of the protesters.
“Our Legal Division and Investigation Division was already instructed to verify the reported arrest of the protesters so that appropriate action may be undertaken by our Office,” said CHR-7 Director Arvin Odron in a message to CDN Digital./dbs
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