17 Pride March protesters set for release from MPD custody — lawyer
MANILA, Philippines — Seventeen individuals who were arrested for holding a Pride March and anti-terror bill protest are set to be released from Manila Police District custodial facility on Tuesday, their legal counsel said.
“Yes. But still here at Manila City Hall waiting for the process server to officially serve the release order in MPD,” lawyer Minnie Lopez of the group “Pride 20” told INQUIRER.net in a text message when asked to confirm if a release order has been issued for the protesters.
Lopez shared a copy of the release order issued by the Manila Prosecutor’s Office on Facebook which states that the 17 detainees “may be released from custody, unless held on other legal charges.”
The Prosecutor’s Office, however, recommended that the cases filed against the protesters “(be) referred for further preliminary investigation.”
The Manila Office of the City Prosecutor approves the recommendation ordering the release of the #FreePride20 for further investigation.
Last June 26, 20 persons were nabbed during an anti-terror bill protest and Pride March along Mendiola Street in Manila. Of the 20, three minors were released last Saturday and were returned to their parents after negotiation with police.
MPD already filed criminal complaints against the 20 protesters for resistance and disobedience to authority, illegal assembly and violation of Republic Act No. 11332 or the Law on Reporting of Communicable Diseases.
Lopez said the protesters said they will file countercharges against MPD. They will include incidents of discrimination and harassment for the cases.
One of the protesters, a transgender woman was not allowed to join female inmates in their quarters, she said.
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