Two youth activists who participated in a rally at US Embassy in Manila arrested
MANILA, Philippines — Two youth activists, who participated in a demonstration in front of the US Embassy in Manila, were arrested early Tuesday morning by lawmen from the Manila Police District (MPD).
Youth groups started staging their protest against the Balikatan military exercises between Filipino and American troops in front of the US Embassy along Roxas Boulevard at around 4:50 a.m., April 11, according to police. The Balikatan military exercises kicked off in Northern Luzon and the provinces of Palawan and Antique also on Tuesday.
According to a report from the MPD, the two youth activists poured paint onto the embassy’s logo during the rally. This prompted police officers to chase and eventually arrest them.
Police said the two activists were arrested for vandalism, violating Batas Pambansa 880 or the Public Assembly Act of 1985. They also said the two resisted arrest, violating Article 151 of the Revised Penal Code.
The arrested youths were placed under the custody of MPD’s General Assignment and Investigation Section (GAIS), pending inquest proceedings.
In response to this, the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication (UP-CMC) called on authorities to “uphold [the public’s] rights to free speech and peaceful assembly.”
“This morning, a CMC student was arrested after participating in a lightning rally in Manila,” the UP-CMC said in a Facebook post on Tuesday. “We call on the authorities for the immediate release of the student and for them to uphold our rights to free speech and peaceful assembly.”
“We call on everyone to be responsible in the posting of information online. This includes checking for the accuracy of such information, engaging in discussions civilly, and caring for each other’s welfare online and in person.”
“We honor our freedom of information by heeding this shared responsibility,” it added.