Court orders release of ‘Cebu 8’ arrested at anti-terrorism bill rally

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 8) — A local court in Cebu City ordered Monday afternoon the immediate release of eight people arrested during a protest rally against the anti-terrorism bill.

They were freed on the evening of the same day, after around 77 hours in detention.

The National Union of Peoples' Lawyers (NUPL) Cebu said no bail amount was required by Judge Jenelyn Forrosuelo of the Municipal Trial Court in Cities Branch 4 who issued the release order.

"On behalf of Cebu 8, we would like to express our sincerest gratitude to various organizations and individuals who have supported the calls for their immediate release such as the widespread condemnation of their arrest, overwhelming efforts to raise a bail fund, and the free services provided by lawyers and paralegals," NUPL Cebu said in a statement.

The detainees, known as “Cebu 8,” were arrested Friday at the University of the Philippines Cebu campus.

Police identified the rallyists as Jaime Paglinawan of BAYAN Central Visayas, Joahanna Veloso of National Union of Students of the Philippines, Bern Cañedo of UP Cebu Student Council, Dyan Gumanao of Kabataan Partylist, Nar Porlas of Anakbayan Cebu, Janry Ubal of Food Not Bombs Cebu, and UP Diliman alumnus Al Ingkin. The other arrested person is a bystander, Clement Corominas.

They face a number of charges including violating the Public Assembly Act and the law on reporting of communicable diseases. They have ten days to respond to the charges.

A number of entities, including the UP Cebu, said the demonstrators just exercised their right to peaceful assembly.

In a statement, the university administration asked Mayor Edgar Labella and the chief of the Cebu City police to investigate the “clear transgression” of the policemen on the university constituents and properties.

Cebu-based stringer Dale Israel contributed to this report.