By Joseph Almer Pedrajas
Three University of the Philippines (UP) students and 15 other individuals were arrested for allegedly staging a protest on Friday afternoon in Barangay Central in Quezon City, according to a police report.
A report from the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) stated that UP students Jandeil Roderos, Jim Clay Bagano, and Joshua Marcial, along with another arrested individual who is a youth organization member, were seen by police around 2:30 p.m. “shouting along the road,” “catching the attention of the public,” and “being interviewed” by media.
Meanwhile, police said, the remaining individuals allegedly held tarpaulins with words: “Ayuda Para Sa Lahat Dapat Walang Pinipili,” SAP Ibigay Na,” and “Endo Wakasan Na,” among others.
This prompted members of Station Tactical Operations Center to seek assistance from Kamuning Police Station’s Community Precinct 4 “to respond to the reported ongoing rally.”
But Tulong Kabataan, a relief network of Kabataan partylist, denied the allegations of police and said that the arrested individuals were only conducting a feeding program called “Kusinang Kabataan” for residents of the area.
“Fifteen residents and jeepney drivers sought assistance because they are being called by barangay, accusing them of participating in Mayo Uno activities. Our volunteers went to the barangay hall where they were immediately escorted to Camp Karingal by four policemen in plain clothing,” the group said in a statement.
The investigation unit of the QCPD said the arrested individuals violated Republic Act (RA) No. 11332 (the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases of Health Events of Public Concern Act) in relation to Proclamations No. 922 and 929, RA 11469 (Bayanihan to Heal as One Act), and Batas Pambansa Blg. 880 (Public Assembly Act of 1985).
Lt. Johanna Sazon, the chief of QCPD Public Information Office, said that police are about file charges against the arrested individuals.