8 arrested in Cebu anti-terror bill rally ordered released without bail
MANILA, Philippines – The 8 individuals arrested at an anti-terror bill rally near the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu were ordered released without bail Monday afternoon, June 8.
The National Union of Peoples' Lawyers (NUPL) Cebu said in a statement that the release order was issued by Cebu City Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) Branch 4 Judge Jenelyn Villaceran Forrosuelo.
The judge did not require a bail amount based on the release order, NUPL said.
The 8 were arrested on Friday, June 5, when the rally was dispersed by Cebu City police. (READ: Cops arrest 8 at anti-terrorism bill protest in Cebu City)
The group includes 7 activists – who were demonstrating against the recently-passed anti-terror bill – and one who was a bystander taking video of the others being arrested.
1. Johanna Veloso, 22, associate vice president of the National Union of Students of the Philippines;
2. Bern Cañedo, 21, UP Cebu Student Council vice president;
3. Dyan Cumabao, Kabataan Partylist Cebu and correspondet for Altermidya;
4. Nar Porlas, Anakbayan UP Cebu;
5. Jaime Paglinawan, 60, Bayan Central Visayas;
6. Janry Ubal,29, Food Not Bombs Cebu;
7. Al Ingking, 26, UP Alumnus;
8. Clement Corominas, 19, bystander.
Dubbed "Cebu 8", the group has not been released as of posting time because the police has yet to receive the release order. They have already spent some 36 hours in detention.
The Cebu City Prosecutor's Office charged the 8 with:
- Batas Pambansa 880, a Marcos-era law that requires a permit to rally
- Violation of Article 151 of the Revised Penal Code on disobeying authority, which says their basis for dispersing the rally is Cebu City's GCQ as per Mayor Edgar Labella's Executive Order No. 079
- Republic Act 11332 Section 9(e), the law on reporting communicable diseases. They are accused of violating the clause on "non-cooperation of the person or entities identified as having the notifiable disease, or affected by the health event of public concern."
The defense was given 10 days to comment on the charges.
"A further announcement will be made by the primary organizations involved in the donation drive in dealing with the funds raised for the bail of Cebu 8," NUPL said.
The NUPL also expressed gratitude to all those who supported the calls for Cebu 8's immediate release and helped raise funds for their bail, those who joined the condemnation of their arrest, and the free services provided by lawyers and paralegals.
Activists criticized the police who dispersed the rally of less than 40 people. The officers were seen on video wearing anti-riot gear and manhandling participants of the largely peaceful protest.
Police denied using excessive force and said they chased down suspects because their officers were "pushed and shoved" by the demonstrators. (READ: PNP denies using excessive force, violating U.P. agreement in Cebu dispersal) – with Ryan Macasero/ Rappler.com