'Cebu 8' charged for unlawful assembly, disobedience over anti-terror bill protest

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 06 2020 04:51 PM

Several demonstrators opposing the anti-terror bill were arrested in Cebu City, June 5, 2020. Annie Perez, ABS-CBN News

CEBU CITY - Cebu City police on Saturday filed criminal complaints before the city’s prosecutor’s office against 7 protesters arrested during a protest rally against the new anti-terror bill and a bystander.

Charged for unlawful assembly, disobedience and violating Republic Act 11332 or Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act were Jaime Paglinawan, Dyan Gumanao, Johanna Veloso, Bern Canedo, Nar Porlas, AI Ingking and Janry Uban.

A bystander identified as Clement Corominas was also taken by authorities and charged for the same violations.

They are currently detained at Police Station 3 of the Cebu City Police Office. They belong to various cause-oriented groups and held a protest at UP Cebu on Friday.

Central Visayas police chief Brig. Gen. Albert Ignatius Ferro maintained the demonstrators broke quarantine protocols imposed to stem the spread of COVID-19.

“During this time of a public health emergency, the people are reminded not to engage in mass gatherings,” he said in a statement.

Support to bail out the protesters have poured in as several lawmakers condemned the arrest.

The new anti-terror bill, which seeks to provide increased powers to government forces against suspected terrorists, was approved by the House of Representatives on Wednesday. The Senate passed a similar measure in February.

Critics have raised concerns on the proposed law due to its supposed vague and dangerous provisions such as prolonged detention without charge and designating any person or group as terrorists. - Report from Annie Perez, ABS-CBN News