Jailed urban poor protesters file petition for habeas corpus | Inquirer News

Jailed urban poor protesters file petition for habeas corpus

Just as San Roque 21, the urban poor residents from Quezon City who were arrested for staging a rally for lack of food aid, filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus before the court on Friday, their defense lawyers learned that formal charges had already been elevated to a Metropolitan Regional Trial Court (MeTC) earlier that day.

San Roque 21 filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus before a Quezon City regional trial court for their “warrantless arrest and continuous illegal detention.”

At the time of the filing of the petition, San Roque 21 have been detained at the Quezon City Police District headquarters in Camp Karingal since their arrest around 11 a.m. on Wednesday.


Separate charges

Quezon City prosecutor Irene Resurreccion Medrano has recommended the filing of five separate charges against the accused: violation of the public assembly law; noncooperation under Republic Act No. 11332; disobedience of a lawful order under Article 151 of the Revised Penal Code; spreading of false information under the RA 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act; and impeding access to roads also under RA 11469.


The charges were approved and filed with the MeTC on Friday morning.

A bail of P3,000 per count for the charges for each of the accused, or at least P15,000 each, has been recommended by the court.

“The courts have, however, closed; thus the MeTC will only entertain processing of bail and release on Monday. The San Roque 21 will spend the weekend in jail,” said lawyer Kristina Conti, one of the defense lawyers.

The respondents are daily wage earners and indigent members of the urban poor community in Sitio San Roque in Barangay Bagong Pag-asa, Quezon City.

Two of them, Celso Alagaon, 68, and Cesar Gallamoza, 64, are senior citizens and one of them lives alone without any relatives in town.

In their petition, the respondents said they were informed by one of their neighbors that there would be food distribution on the day of the incident near Avida Vita Drive corner Edsa, or just outside the community.


But there was no food, contrary to what they had expected.

“Instead, some of the residents, mostly children, were randomly given placards by people they did not know or recognize. None of the PDLs (persons deprived of liberty) held placards,” the petition read.

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TAGS: Food Aid, pandemic, protesters, Quarantine, San Roque 21

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