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Groups press for release of activist, condemn violent dispersal of anti-SONA protests

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Groups press for release of activist, condemn violent dispersal of anti-SONA protests

MANILA – Members of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan)-National Capital Region demanded the immediate release of a protester arrested during President Aquino’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) last Monday.

Protesters picketed Camp Karingal, headquarters of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) July 25, to condemn the continuing detention of Arturo Capellan Jr., 20, a member of Anakbayan chapter in Marikina.
According to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit (CIDU) of the QCPD, Capellan, along with some leaders who organized the rally last Monday, will be charged with malicious mischief, physical injuries and damage to properties.

Bayan NCR secretary general Paulo Quiza decried the arrest as “illegal.”

“We have all the legal grounds to march to Congress. What was illegal that day were the police barricades, the violent dispersal of our ranks, and the arrest and continued detention of our fellow activist,” Quiza said.

Bayan filed an application for a rally permit with the Quezon City Government ten days before President Benigno Aquino III delivered his third State of the Nation Address (SONA), but the local government did not act upon the petition. Under Batas Pambansa 880, an application is deemed granted if not acted upon within two days.

“What was supposedly a peaceful assembly ended up in violence because of the government’s violation of its own law. The policemen should know the laws they implement, our march was legitimate and their blockade was not. They should free our fellow activist at once,” Quiza said.

Bayan said the ground commander was lying when he said that they had not received any permit because they knew fully well that Bayan complied with the legal requirements.

Policemen aim their truncheons at protesters.(Photo by Fred Dabu/ bulatlat.com)
A scuffle ensued as policemen attempted to block the protesters from marching toward Batasang Pambansa while Aquino was delivering his speech. Dump trucks hired by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) tried to run over some protesters.

Bayan said the protesters acted in self-defense when they stopped the rampaging dump truck. The protesters almost got hit by the truck and the police were just looking. “The police actions and inaction that day further added to the frustration and anger of the protesters,” Bayan said in a statement..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/07/26/groups-press-for-release-of-activist-condemn-violent-dispersal-of-anti-sona-protests/


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