Cebu groups raise P300K in donations for bail of 8 arrested protesters | Inquirer News

Cebu groups raise P300K in donations for bail of 8 arrested protesters

By: - Senior Reporter / @inquirervisayas
/ 05:35 PM June 07, 2020

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Different cause-oriented groups have raised at least P300,000 in donations for the bail of the eight persons who were arrested while holding a protest action against the anti-terrorism bill here last Friday.

“We really welcome the help and support from different groups and individuals,” lawyer Kristian Jacob Lora told the INQUIRER.

Lora, who along with Cebu lawyer Ian Vincent Manticajon represented the eight individuals in the legal proceedings, said they expect the prosecutor to release a resolution on the cases filed against the “Cebu 8” on Monday, June 8.


“We’re still hoping that the charges will be dismissed by the prosecutor,” Lora said.


But if the prosecutor finds sufficient basis to elevate the charges to the court, he said the first step they will take is to post bail so the eight respondents would be released from detention.

Three students, four members of progressive groups, and a supposed bystander were arrested by the police on Friday for allegedly violating the government’s ban on mass gatherings when they held a protest rally in front of UP-Cebu’s entrance gate.

Charges for violating the Batas Pambansa 880 or the Public Assembly Act of 1985, Republic Act 11332 otherwise known as the Law on Reporting of Communicable Diseases, and resistance and disobedience to persons in authority were filed against them at the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office.

When presented to the prosecutor in an online inquest proceeding last Saturday, the protesters, assisted by their legal counsel, opted to forego the conduct of a preliminary investigation which could have given them the chance to submit their counter-affidavit and refute the charges against them.

“We waived our right to a preliminary investigation so we can immediately work for the release of the detainees if the prosecutor decides to elevate the charges to the court,” Lora said.

Named respondents in the cases were UP Cebu students Joahanna Veloso, 22, and vice president of National Union of Students of the Philippines, Bernie Cañedo, 21, of Youth Act Now Against Tyranny Cebu, and Nar Porlas of Anakbayan UP Cebu; April Dyan Gumanao, a volunteer of the Kabataan party-list; Jaime Paglinawan, 60, of the Alyansa sa mga Mamumuo sa Sugbo-Kilusang Mayo Uno and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Central Visayas; Al Ingking, 26, a UP alumnus; Janry Ubal, 29, of Food Not Bombs Cebu; and 19-year-old Clement Corominas Jr. who claimed to just have passed by UP Cebu when the dispersal happened and was also arrested when he asked a policeman what happened.


The Free Legal Assistance Group in Central Visayas (FLAG-7), an organization of human rights lawyers, strongly condemned the violent dispersal of the “peaceful” protest staged by student leaders and activists at UP Cebu last Friday.

“There was no need for the police to send a contingent of its forces in full battle gear to quell a peaceful rally of citizens whose right to a peaceful assembly is guaranteed by our Constitution,” said FLAG-7 chairman Democrito Barcenas in a statement.

The act of the police in arresting protesters within the vicinity of the UP Cebu, he said, violated the 1989 peace accord between the university and the Department of National Defense which bars state forces from conducting any operations in any UP campus.

“The usual rationalization of the police that any mass gathering violates the rule on social distancing flies on the face when National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief, Major General Debold Sinas, violated this provision when he had a gathering to celebrate his birthday last month which drew massive criticisms from the netizens,” Barcenas said.

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“This regime cannot long endure if there is one law for citizens and another law for public officials,” he added.

TAGS: arrested, bail, Cebu City, protesters, UP Cebu

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