MANILA, Philippines – Several artists and celebrities have spoken out against the arrest of at least 20 people who attended the Pride march in Mendiola, Manila, on Friday, June 26.
Members of the LGBTQ+ rights group Bahaghari, other progressive groups, and drivers were arrested at the protest even as they maintained physical distancing and practiced other health protocols.
As of this posting, the arrested individuals are detained at the Manila Police District.
On social media, several artists and celebrities condemned the arrests and called for the release of the protesters.
Musician Saab Magalona retweeted a statement from Metro Manila Pride and said “BAKIT??? Pwede bang mang-aresto nang walang rason? Hindi makatarungan (WHY??? Can people be arrested without a reason? It’s unjust)!!”
She also used the hashtag #FreePride20 in her post.
Social media star and singer Frankie Pangilinan kept it simple by tweeting “#FREEPRIDE20NOW.” She also retweeted a photo posted by Twitter user @MMMMakkow of a law enforcer holding a rolled up pride flag. In the caption, the user said it was an image “that will enrage you to your core.”
Hello Stranger director Petersen Vargas retweeted a video taken by photographer JL Javier showing the protesters being arrested.
“They couldn’t even answer the media what the violation is – and yet they can just take away people like that,” Petersen said in the retweet.
“This is clearly an exhibition as to how our freedom has now really been stripped away from us. Fuck this.”
WATCH THIS. They couldn’t even answer the media what the violation is—and yet they can just take away people like that.— Petersen 4-ever (@petersenvargas) June 26, 2020
This is clearly an exhibition as to how our freedom has now really been stripped away from us. Fuck this. https://t.co/sLKukBByW8
Filmmaker Samantha Lee retweeted the same video and said that the arrests show there is reason to fear the anti-terrorism bill.
“For everyone who has ever said that we have disproportionately reacted to the Anti-Terrorism Bill, hindi po kami nakikibandwagon o nagpapadala sa ‘cute’ graphics, may dahilan tayo para mangamba (we aren’t just bandwagoning or falling for the ‘cute’ graphics, we have reason to be afraid),” she said, using the hashtag #JunkTerrorBillNow.
For everyone who has ever said that we have disproportionately reacted to the Anti-Terrorism Bill, hindi po kami nakikibandwagon o nagpapadala sa "cute" graphics, may dahilan tayo para mangamba. #JUNKTERRORBILLNOW https://t.co/pjcvomBui6— Samantha Lee (@givemesam) June 26, 2020
Writer Juan Miguel Severo retweeted another video of the arrest, saying “Partida. The terror bill hasn’t been signed.”
Partida. The terror bill hasn't been signed. https://t.co/sP7vPslBBg— Juan Miguel Severo (@TheRainBro) June 26, 2020
In another retweet of a video, he said “Fuck the police” and used the hashtag #SulongWagPatinag, the theme of this year’s Metro Manila Pride celebrations.
Actress Janine Gutierrez also retweeted Metro Manila Pride’s statement, adding the hashtag “#FreePride20.”
The protest, led by Bahaghari, was held to celebrate Pride month and to take a stand against the anti-terrorism bill. During the pandemic, police had also previously arrested protesters in Cebu City. – Rappler.com