MANILA – Police have arrested 18 people, including 3 students of the University of the Philippines, for allegedly staging a Labor Day rally in Barangay Central, Quezon City on Friday afternoon.
The suspects are detained in Camp Karingal and will face complaints for violating Republic Act 11469 or Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, which prohibits mass gathering, police said.
While it was still trying to ascertain all facts on the incident, the Quezon City government said preliminary information showed the suspects were apprehended for conducting a rally, which violates enhanced community quarantine guidelines.
“The City shall closely monitor the situation to ensure that the rights of the persons involved are respected, while continuing to discharge its duty to protect its people by enforcing the existing quarantine guidelines,” local government said in a statement.
“We again remind everyone to stay home and stay safe.”
However, Tinig ng Plaridel, the official student publication of the UP College of Mass Communication, said the group was conducting a feeding program for residents of Barangay Central.
Those arrested are 2 undergraduate students from the College of Social Science and Philosophy and a graduate student from the College of Science, it said.
The departments where the students belonged are calling for their release, saying they were only conducting volunteer work.
The National Union of Students of the Philippines also condemned the incident.
“Agarang palayain na dapat ang mga hinuli at pagtuunan ng pansin ang pandemya imbis na supilin ang mga tumutulong at busalan ang may mga hinaing!” it said. - With a report from Arra Perez, ABS-CBN News
- With a report from Arra Perez, ABS-CBN News