By Minka Klaudia Tiangco
A 23-year-old student from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) was arrested in Sta. Mesa, Manila Saturday afternoon (April 25), after the police found no name written on the home quarantine pass he carried.
But a student organization claimed that PUP mechanical engineering student Rexon Aumentado was illegally detained because it was the barangay officials who mistakenly issued him a double-entry home quarantine pass.
Investigation showed that Aumentado was on his way to the market when he was flagged by the police and asked to present his quarantine pass.
The student was then nabbed after the police saw there was no name indicated on his quarantine pass.
“When asked the suspect regarding his quarantine pass he answered that the quarantine pass has no name so that his other housemate can use it,” the police report read.
“Further, upon verification at Brgy. 587… P/B (punong barangay) Danilo L. Marcos issued a certification that said quarantine (pass) was not issued to the suspect,” it added.
Lt. Col. Carlito Grijaldo, Sta. Mesa Police Station commander, said Aumentado will undergo inquest proceedings and is facing multiple charges for use of falsified documents, disobedience, resistance to person in authority, and non-cooperation.
However, the PUP Students’ Party for Equality and Advancement of Knowledge (SPEAK) claimed that Marcos asked that the certification he issued to the police be considered null or void after finding that barangay officials issued Aumentado a double-entry home quarantine pass.
“Contrary to PCP #8’s report, Aumentado is authorized to go out as he carries [a] valid and legitimate home quarantine pass (HQP) verified by Barangay 587,” PUP SPEAK said in a statement released on Saturday.
“Apparently, it was Barangay 587 [that] made a mistake in issuing [a] double-entry HQP,” it added.
The student organization condemned Aumentado’s “illegal” arrest and called for his immediate release.
“Ating iginigiit, walang sala si Rexon. Pero dahil hindi siya kilala at wala sa poder ng kapangyarihan, naging mapanupil sa kanya ang batas.”
(We are stressing that Rexon is innocent. But because he is not known and is not in power, the law was repressive to him.)
In a now-deleted message to reporters, the Manila Police District (MPD) claimed that PUP SPEAK is exploiting Aumentado’s arrest to discredit the police and the government.
“The aforementioned rejectionist student group will continue to exploit the recent arrest of their colleague in order to project their relevance and create an illusion that the PNP is bent on violating the human rights of the people in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic,” the message read.
“Hence, the socmed (social media) campaign of the said group is but part of their agitation-propaganda campaign in the guise of human rights advancement in their bid to discredit and undermine the Duterte admistration,” it added.
Further investigation is underway.