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Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) chairman Chel Diokno criticized the Manila Police District (MPD) for having arrested members of the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) community for holding a Pride March in Mendiola on Friday (June 26).

With this, Diokno assured the LGBTQ community that his group is one with them.

“Sa LGBTQ Community, kasama nyo kami, at di tayo paaapi,” read his latest social media posts.

Diokno made the statement after at least 20 members of the LGBTQ community got arrested by the MPD during the Pride March held in Mendiola.

“The arrest of those who joined Metro Manila Pride violates the Public Assembly Act, which says: ‘no person can be punished or held criminally liable for participating in or attending an otherwise peaceful assembly’,” he pointed out.

“If the rally had no permit, BP (Batas Pambansa) 880 says they can be peacefully dispersed—but they cannot be arrested indiscriminately just because they were there,” he added.

Since those who attended the rally committed no crime, Diokno stressed “there was no valid reason to arrest them.”

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