QC prosecutor orders 18 youth, relief volunteers freed for lack of evidence

Photo courtesy of Maria Sol Taule

“Instead of fascist attacks, the government should provide medical services and assistance to the people. We are also calling for immediate release of other innocent detainees who only deliver aid to different parts of the country.”

By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
Bulatlat.com

MANILA – Eighteen youth and residents of barangay Central in Quezon City were released this afternoon, May 3.

The four youth volunteers of Tulong Kabataan and 14 residents who are part of a community kitchen providing warm meals to urban poor in Quezon City were arrested May 1 and detained at Camp Karingal. They were collectively called as Quezon City 18.

In a release order, Senior Assistance City Prosecutor Fabinda K. Delos Santos said the charges of violation of Republic Act 11332 or the Law on Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases, Republic Act 11469, also known as Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, and Marcosian-era Batas Pambansa 880 are referred for further investigation due to insufficiency of evidence.

In her statement, Kabataan Party-list Rep. Sarah Elago thanked Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte, Congressman Kit Belmonte, University of the Philippines Chancellor Fidel Nemenzo and Karapatan legal counsel Atty. Maria Sol Taule for working on the release of 18 volunteers.

Photo courtesy of Maria Sol Taule

Among those arrested were Anton Narciso of College Editors Guild of the Philippines, Jim Bagano of the Philippine Collegian, Joshua Marcial, spokersperson of Tulong Kabataan and Jandeil Roperos, a student of the University of the Philippines.

Elago said that helping fellow Filipinos in the time of pandemic is not a crime.

“Instead of fascist attacks, the government should provide medical services and assistance to the people. We are also calling for immediate release of other innocent detainees who only deliver aid to different parts of the country,” Elago said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the four members of urban poor group who were arrested in Valenzuela were released yesterday, May 2. Fidel Columna of Kilos Na Homeless and three other workers from Liga ng mga Manggagawa sa Valenzuela City, Marlina Abique, Danny Calunsad, at Ann Calunsad were arrested by the police because of their posts on social media. ()

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