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Protesting ain’t a crime! Pangilinan calls for release of 7 detained Cebu rallyists

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Senator Francis Pangilinan called on authorities Friday (June 5) to release the seven persons who were detained for staging a protest at the University of the Philippines Cebu over the anti-terrorism bill.

In a statement, Pangilinan expressed dismay at the arrest of the protesters. He said every Filipino citizen has a right and duty to criticize the government.

“Hindi pa man batas ang nasabing panukala, ganito na ang asal ng ilang mga pulis. Dapat kasuhan ang mga ito dahil sa wrongful arrest, violation of the 1989 UP-DND Accord prohibiting police from entering UP campuses without express permission from the UP administration, among others,” Pangilinan said.

A 1989 agreement between the University of the Philippines, the Department of National Defense, and the Department of the Interior and Local Govenrment prohibits state security forces from entering the campus.

Those arrested were identified as: Joahanna Veloso of the National Union of Students of the Philippines, Jaime Paglinawan of Baong Alyansang Makabayan – Central Visayas, former UP Cebu student Al Ingking,Dyan Gumanao of Kabataan Partylist, Bern Cañedo of Youth Act Now Against Tyranny Cebu, and Nar Porlas and Janry Ubal from Food Not Bombs Cebu.

Police claimed the protesters were arrested for violating protocols under the general community quarantine since mass gatherings are not yet allowed.

The rallyists are currently detained at the Cebu City Police Office.

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