MANILA, Philippines – Police on Saturday, July 4, arrested 11 activists who protested the signing of the Anti-Terrorism Law in Laguna.
Members of rights group Karapatan, Anakbayan Southern Tagalog, and other progressive groups said that their program had ended when cops apprehended them.
A video posted on Anakbayan Souther Tagalog’s Facebook page showed the police dragging the activists to the Cabuyao City Police Station.
According to Kyle Salgado, among those detained, the police has yet to inform them of their violations. He said that the 2nd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army and Cabuyao Police apprehended them.
“Wala namang sinasabing kaso sa amin. Basta alam ko, wala kaming nilabag na batas. Sa katunayan, habang kami ay payapang nagpoprograma, ay dumating ang 6×6 military truck ng 2nd ID (Infantry Division) at tinapatan ng malakas ng sounds ang program namin,” Salgado posted on Twitter.
(We are yet to be informed of charges against us. As far as I know, we didn’t violate any law. In fact, while we were conducting our proble, a 6×6 military truck from the 2nd ID came and blasted loud sounds to drown our program.)
Salgado said that the activists were injured because the police forcibly dragged them to the police station.
Based on the photos posted by Anakbayan Southern Tagalog, the activists were wearing masks and were implementing physical distance as they went on with their program.
The rally in Cabuyao was among the several protests around the country, denouncing the signing of the anti-terrorism law. (READ: Filipinos take the streets to protest against anti-terrorism law)
President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Anti-Terorrism Law on Friday, July 4, despite strong public opposition against the measure. It will take effect 15 days after its publication on Official Gazette on Saturday, or only after the implementing rules and regulations is completed, if needed.
Youth, progressive, and human rights groups had raised alarm over the dangerous provisions of the law and the broad definition of what constitutes as “terrorism.”
Even before the law was signed, 8 students and activists who protested against the measure were arrested by the police. – Rappler.com