Bayan slams QCPD’s filing of raps vs 14 Sona protesters: ‘We’re given rally permit’
MANILA, Philippines — Progressive group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) has called out the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) for filing cases against members of its Southern Tagalog (ST) chapter, saying that it was granted a rally permit during President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) last July 24.
Earlier Thursday, QCPD released a now-deleted report that 14 activists or leaders of groups were charged for holding a protest without permits or violating Batas Pambansa Bilang 880 or the Public Assembly Act of 1985.
Police said it secured a verification from the QC Department of Public Order and Safety that the protesters were not allowed to hold rallies. QCPD disclosed a letter signed by city government head III Elmo San Diego last August 14, which confirmed this deficiency.
Contrary to this, Bayan Secretary General Renato Reyes Jr. said his group was granted a rally permit, which he claimed covers its affiliate Bayan ST. He likewise posted the photo of the permit signed by San Diego on Twitter.
Most of those charged are part of Bayan Southern Tagalog, a regional chapter of Bayan which applied for the rally permit for SONA. The permit is clear and covers the pocket activities leading up to the main event. Ano na naman itong kaso mula sa QCPD? https://t.co/APjP2FolUZ pic.twitter.com/riwDqBRp5o
— Renato Reyes, Jr. (@natoreyes) August 24, 2023
“The QCPD has not stopped filing embarrassing harassment suits. They filed a case vs. 14 activists, mostly members of Bayan Southern Tagalog, for violations of BP 880. Wala daw permit sa rally,” Reyes said in a statement.
“The document is quite clear, and it covers the pocket activities leading up to the main Sona protests. The case is thus baseless and is again part of the ongoing harassment by the QCPD against activists and dissenters,” he added.
Reyes then urged the force “to first study the law and to refrain from self-imposed ignorance so that it can justify fascism against the people.”
INQUIRER.net sought the side of the QCPD, but it has yet to respond as of posting time.