Legazpi protest calling for release of Karapatan, Gabriela leaders ends with police confrontation
LEGAZPI CITY –– A protest staged by progressive groups in front of Camp Simeon Ola on Friday morning ended with a brief confrontation with the police.
At least 40 protesters from Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, Bicolana Gabriela, Jovenes Anakbayan, and Condor Piston marched from Daraga town to the regional police camp in Legazpi City, where they were allegedly confronted by three police officers for causing traffic in the area.
The protesters were calling for the release of Bicolana Gabriela chairperson Jenelyn Nagrampa, who was arrested on Tuesday, July 7, and 64-year-old Karapatan Bicol spokesperson Pastor Dan San Andres, who was nabbed on Thursday, July 9.
Nagrampa and San Andres are facing two counts of murder over their alleged participation in an ambush staged by the New People’s Army in Ragay town in Camarines Sur on May 13, 2018 that killed two soldiers. Both suspects have denied the charges.
Justine Mesias, Youth Act Now Against Tyranny (Yanat) Bicol spokesperson, said their protest had been peaceful and did not cause traffic.
Nonetheless, the protesters, who were initially planning to march to Peñaranda Park after a short program in front of Camp Simeon Ola, dispersed after the confrontation.
“The Anti-Terrorism Law hasn’t been implemented yet, but the reactionary state is already starting to suppress our freedoms using trumped-up charges like murder, which is funny when you think of it because they have no basis,” Justine Mesias, Yanat Bicol spokesperson, said.
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