protests in the Philippines

2 student protesters arrested in Tuguegarao City

Rambo Talabong

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2 student protesters arrested in Tuguegarao City

SURROUNDED. Protesters are surrounded by Tuguegarao policeman

SCMP Cagayan Valley photo

Without holding a mass gathering, two student protesters are arrested by the Tugearao police

Two protesters in Tuguegarao City were arrested by the police Monday afternoon, July 27, as they were preparing to hold a demonstration coinciding with President Rodrigo Duterte’s 2020 State of the Nation Address (SONA).

In a phone interview with Rappler, Cagayan provincial police chief Colonel Ariel Quilang said two teenagers were arrested and were facing criminal complaints for violating the following laws:

  • Republic Act No. 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Concern Act;
  • Revised Penal Code Article 151 or disobedience to a person in authority.

The two were identified as members of the League of Filipino Students and Kabataan Partylist – Cagayan Valley.

What did they do wrong?

According to Quilang, the two demonstrators violated the general community quarantine rule that anyone aged 21 and below must stay at home unless they are out for essential travel.

With this rule applied, Quilang said it does not matter if the two were not part of a group of 10 —the general number of people that police consider as a mass gathering—as long as they are minors who went outside.

“We were just implementing the COVID violations. Here in Cagayan, we are strictly implementing COVID violations,” Quilang said.

As of Sunday, July 5, the PNP has arrested a total of 76,340 alleged quarantine violators. Of them, 3,148 continued to be detained as they undergo preliminary investigation. –

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.