University of the Philippines star forward Kobe Paras on Friday vowed to help bail out protesters arrested in UP Cebu for their action against the anti-terror bill.
Police on Friday arrested at least 7 people who joined a rally opposing the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 in front of UP in Cebu City, citing alleged violations of general community quarantine guidelines.
Paras has been vocal on social media this past week about the #BlackLivesMatter campaign in the United States and the #JunkTerrorBill protests in the Philippines.
The Gilas Pilipinas player has also retweeted posts by Anne Curtis and Pia Wurtzbach, who have voiced their disapproval of House Bill 6875.
Fighting Maroons teammate Ricci Rivero has also shown interest in helping the Cebu demonstrators.
Rivero, who learned about the incident from teammate Jun Manzo, coordinated with Nowhere to Go UP president Renan Dalisay and pledged financial support for those detained.
Rivero said he is consulting with lawyers to educate him further about the anti-terror bill.
Those detained in Cebu were — Bern Cañedo of Youth Act Now Against Tyranny Cebu; Dyan Gumanao of Kabataan Partylist; Al Ingking, a former student of UP Cebu; Jaime Paglinawan of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan; Joahanna Veloso of the National Union of Students of the Philippines; and Nar Porlas and Janry Ubal from Food Not Bombs Cebu.
Police Col. Josefino Ligan of the Cebu City Police Office arrived at the protest area to give demonstrators 10 minutes to wrap up their activity.
Despite multiple warnings, Ligan said, the group allegedly continued with their program. Police officers then chased and arrested the protesters, some of whom even went inside the campus.
“They violated GCQ protocol, mass gathering and not bringing of quarantine passes,” Ligan said.
Veloso said her group followed all protocols during the protest.
“We have our passes, if that is the issue. They should have checked that before we started our protest,” she said.
As of posting time, charges were not filed yet against the protesters now detained at the Cebu City Police Office.
Lawyers and human rights activists in the country have rejected the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, certified “urgent’ by President Rodrigo Duterte, saying it would be used to suppress free speech and harass administration critics.
Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson on Thursday said the Senate's anti-terror bill, which House Bill 6875 is based on, clearly states that terrorism acts “does not include advocacy, protest, dissent, and industrial mass action.”
“[Kapag] nag-express sila ng dissent, hindi sila mata-tag na terrorist. Ito’y ginagamit na weapon ng mga progresibong bloke ngayon para takutin ang ating mga mamamayan, Huwag kayo magsasalita laban sa gobyerno at magiging terorista kayo.’ Maling-mali po ’yun,” Lacson said. — With a report from Mark Escarlote, ABS-CBN Sports
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