16 students nabbed in Iligan City for gathering to call out terror bill
ILIGAN CITY –– Sixteen young student leaders of the Mindanao State University (MSU) were arrested Friday morning while gathering at a park in Barangay Palao here.
Gil Nambatac, member of Himugso Kolektibo, a group of young writers in Iligan City, said he was supposed to join the group when he saw his colleagues running to different directions as police arrived.
The group gathered to conduct a short program in commemoration of the 122nd Philippine Independence Day, highlighting their call to junk the Anti-Terrorism Bill.
“When I arrived, the students were scampering away because the police signaled for their arrest. First time for these students in this kind of event. They were violently taken by policemen,” Nambatac recalled.
“We believe that these students did not commit any violations. If their reason is the pandemic, that mass gathering is prohibited, I think our constitutional rights to air our grievances are not suspended,” Nambatac said.
Nambatac clarified that the arrested students are not members of any militant or progressive group, but members and leaders of college-based organizations of MSU—Iligan Institute of Technology.
Most of them, Nambatac said, are freshmen and known to have critical minds.
Police have yet to issue a report on the arrest. As of this reporting, the students were still detained at the Iligan City Police Station (ICPS) 5.
Major Allan Abalde, chief of ICPS 5, said investigation on the incident was ongoing.
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