PUP orgs call for release of student detained over 'lockdown violation'
MANILA, Philippines – Student organizations from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) and a human rights lawyer called for the release of a student who was detained over a supposed violation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Manila.
In Twitter posts on Saturday, April 25, the PUP Office of the Student Regent (OSR) said Rexon Aumentado was arrested and detained that day at Police Community Precinct 8 in Santa Mesa, Manila, for supposedly not carrying a valid home quarantine pass (HQP) when he went to the market to buy supplies.
Aumentado is a mechanical engineering student of PUP who is "an active community volunteer helping stranded dormers and service workers in Santa Mesa," according to the OSR.
The OSR argued that Aumentado "is authorized to go out as he carries [a] valid and legitimate HQP."
It also said that Barangay 587, which issued the quarantine pass, released a certification saying that the student's pass is valid. The barangay said it only made a mistake with the control ID number, and that it was correcting the error.
Despite the barangay's certification, Aumentado remains detained.
"Kami ay nananawagan, palayain si Rex Aumentado (We are making this plea: release Rex Aumentado)!" said the OSR.
The call for Aumentado's release was also posted by the PUP Sentral na Konseho ng Mag-aaral and the PUP Student Party for Equality and Advancement of Knowledge on their respective Facebook pages.
The OSR told Rappler on Sunday, April 26, that human rights lawyer Erin Tañada will be Aumentado's legal counsel.
Tañada, in a tweet on Saturday, said the student's continued detention despite the barangay's certification is a form of "harassment."
The Manila police charged Aumentado with violation of Revised Penal Code Article 172 (falsification of documents) and Article 151 (resistance and disobedience to a person in authority), as well as Section 9 of Republic Act No. 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act (on non-cooperation with authorities). – Rappler.com