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41 activists, lawyer in Iloilo freed after labor day arrest

Lian Buan
41 activists, lawyer in Iloilo freed after labor day arrest
Each had to post a P12,000 bail

MANILA, Philippines – The 41 activists and their lawyer who were arrested in Iloilo City on May 1 during an attempt to hold a protest had been freed on bail Saturday night May 2.

National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) president Edre Olalia told Rappler that all 42 were released  past 8 pm on Saturday after posting bail.

Iloilo City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 35 Judge Daniel Antonio Gerardo Amular ordered their release upon the posting of bail P12,000 each.

The 41 activists attempted to hold a protest on May 1 to condemn the killing of their fellow activist Jory Porquia. Porquia was shot 9 times by unidentified armed men a day before Labor Day. (READ: In Duterte’s Philippines, lawyers are pandemic frontliners too)

Lawyer Angelo Guillen, an NUPL member, extended legal assistance to the apprehended activists but he too was arrested with them.

Police filed 4 complaints against the activists:

  • Illegal assembly (Batasan Pambansa 880)
  • Disobedience to authority (Article 151 of the Revised Penal Code)
  • Violence of Republic Act 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases Act which punishes “non-cooperation” in a health crisis
  • Violation of the Bayanihan Law

Judge Amular set bail at P3,000 per offense.

According to Olalia, the city prosecutor gave the 42 activists until May 16 to file their counter-affidavits, meaning the preliminary investigation is not done yet.

The prosecutor will then decide whether to charge the 42 activists in court, or dismiss the police complaints. –

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Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email or tweet @lianbuan.