Calls to junk Anti-terror Law continue a year after ‘Cebu-8’ arrest

By: Pegeen Maisie M. Sararaña - CDN Digital Multi-Media Reporter | June 05,2021 - 05:00 PM

Here are some of the individuals who staged a protest in remembering the first anniversary of the arrest of “Cebu-8” on June 5, 2020.

CEBU CITY, Philippines — At least 20 members of militant groups aired their collective call to junk the Anti-Terror Law with a protest rally today, June 5, at the entrance gate of the University of the Philippines-Cebu.

The activity marked the first anniversary after the arrest of Cebu 8, the collective term for those who were apprehended last year for staging a rally amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jaimie Paglinawan, the chairperson of the militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan in Central Visayas (Bayan-Central Visayas), said that today’s protest is a continuation of their call to junk the Anti-Terrorism Law that was passed last July 2020.

He said that aside from their call to junk the controversial law, they are also protesting against red-tagging and the killing of activists which he said is still happening even today.

“Nananawagan yung mga kabataan, yung mga urban poor, yung mga magsasaka, mga vendors na ibasura ang Terror Law, ibasura yung mga red-tagging, ibasura yung mga pagpatay sa mga activista, at one year after, ito parin ang nangyari sa atin,” Paglinawan said.

(The youth, urban poor, farmers, and vendors are calling to junk the Terror Law, stop the red-tagging, the killing of activists. One year after, these things are still happening.)

Paglinawan was one of those who were arrested during last year’s rally.

READ:  Police arrest protesters in Cebu City for violating GCQ guidelines. 

Last June 2020, at least seven persons who were members of cause-oriented groups and a bystander were arrested by the personnel of the Cebu City Police Office for violating the guidelines on mass gatherings at that time when Cebu City was still under general community quarantine.

Paglinawan said that the 2020 protest was peaceful until they were arrested by the CCPO police officers.

“Kahit patapos na yung peaceful protest namin dito sa UP, dinakip yung walo sa mga nagprotesta. Dinala kami sa Cebu City Police Office, dinetain, nakalabas kami pagka June 8,” Paglinawan added.

(Even if our protest was about to end in UP, eight protesters were still arrested. We were brought to Cebu City Police Office, detained, and were released on June 8 [2020].)

Among the charges the Cebu 8 faced were violations of Section 13 of the Public Assembly Act of 1985 (Batasang Pambansa No. 880); Section 9 (e) of the Law on Reporting of Communicable Diseases (R.A. No. 11332), and simple resistance and disobedience to an agent of a person in authority under Article 151 paragraph 2 of the Revised Penal Code

READ: Cebu 8 released from detention

Paglinawan admitted that they felt anxious while staging today’s protest rally following their experience last year. However, he said that they will continue until their concerns were heard and responded to.

“Kung mawala ang takot ng mamayan, siguro mawala din ang nag-abuso sa power nila tulad ni President Duterte. Kaya kailangan yung mga mamayan natin…lahat na mamamayan na apektado sa pandemya, apektado ngayon sa pag-aabuso, kailangna nga mustand-up, makigbisog, wag matakot,” Paglinawan added.

Police Regional Office (PRO-7) director Police Brigadier General Ronnie Montejo, for his part, said that he respects these activities but reminded protesters at least follow the existing protocols of the city.

“Atoang girespeto ang ilang katungod sa pagpahigayon sa ilahang kalihukan pero ako lang pod hangyo nga ilaha na nga isubay diri sa atoang balaod nga dili sila maka violate. Naa ta karon sa pandemya, maayo gyud unta nga masunod lang gyud na at least ang minimum health protocol,” Montejo said.

(We respect their right to conduct protests but I also hope that they will align this to our existing laws so they will not be cited for violation. We are still in the middle of the pandemic, it would be better if they can follow at least the minimum health protocol.)  /rcg

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TAGS: anti-terror law, Bayan-Central Visayas, Cebu 8, Jaimie Paglinawan, protest, rally, University of the Philippines

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