Police file complaints against 21 protesters arrested at a QC rally to demand food aid

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 2) -  Complaints against 21 protesters arrested at a rally to demand food and other assistance were filed electronically with the Quezon City (QC) Prosecutor’s Office, police said Thursday.

The QC Police District in a statement said the complaints, filed Wednesday, were for violation of the Public Assembly Act of 1985, Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act and Resistance and Disobedience to a Person in Authority.

The suspects were identified as a certain Epifania Villarmero and twenty others. Another suspect identified as Analiza Panalangin is at large, police said.

QCPD said the complaints are pending and awaiting the approval of the chief prosecutor.

The protesters are residents of Sitio San Roque who were arrested Wednesday in Barangay Bagong Pag-asa for staging a rally without a permit. They claimed that they haven’t received any aid from the city government.

The city government said the left-leaning group Kadamay instigated the residents to conduct a protest.

READ: DILG to leftist groups: Don't take advantage of COVID-19 crisis

Despite the incident, QC Mayor Joy Bemonte called on authorities to release the protesters for 'humanitarian reasons.”

The rally apparently irked President Rodrigo Duterte, who on Wednesday night warned government forces will shoot anyone who violates the COVID-19 quarantine if the protests prove to be a threat to law enforcers’ lives.