UP Cebu calls for charges vs police

THE University of Philippines (UP) Cebu community has launched a petition to compel the university administration to file charges against the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO).

UP Cebu condemned the CCPO for the violent dispersal of protesters and "forceful trespassing" last June 5 that led to the arrest of seven UP students and one bystander.

The students were protesting the passage of the Anti-Terror Bill on Friday, June 5, 2020, inside UP Cebu's premises when policemen -- in full battle gear -- arrived. They arrested some protesters for mass gathering.

The police filed charges against the students for violations of Section 13, Batas Pambansa 880, which prohibits the holding of public assembly without having to secure first a written permit; violation of Section 9 (e) of Republic Act 11332, and Simple Disobedience under paragraph 2 of Article 151 of the Revised Penal Code.

But UP Cebu, in a Facebook post of Tug-ani, the school's official student publication, said "what happened last June 5, 2020 was a violation of, among others, the UP-DND Accord of 1989."

The said accord stipulated that "members of the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines), or the PC-INP (Philippine Constabulary/Integrated National Police), or the Cafgu shall not interfere with peaceful protest actions by UP constituents within UP premises."

"We feel that we are deeply aggrieved of these acts done in our campus. We therefore petition the UP System BOR, President Danilo Concepcion, and UP Cebu Chancellor Liza Corro to file appropriate charges to the Cebu City Police Office who intruded UP Cebu premises and arrested several members of our community among them our UP Cebu students and alumna who conducted a peaceful protest against the anti-terror bill," UP Cebu said in a statement.

"This blatant violation of not only the Accord but also the 1987 Constitution should not go by unpunished. At a time when violations and crimes happen with impunity, UPC should be firm in its stand for accountability and justice, especially if these violations target its constituents," it added.

Tug-ani said a copy of the petition, which was reportedly signed by about 700 individuals, organizations and student councils across the UP system, has already been emailed to Corro, Concepcion, and the sectoral members of the Board of Regents.

Arrested last June 5 were Jaime Paglinawan of Bayan Central Visayas; Joahanna Veloso, 22, associate vice president of the National Union of Students of the Philippines; Bern Canedo, 21, vice president of UP Cebu’s student council; Dyan Gumabao of Kabataan Party List; Nar Porlas of Anak Bayan UP Cebu; Janry Ubal, 29, of Food Not Bombs Cebu; Ai Ingking, 26, of the UP Alumnos; and Clement Ventic Corominos, 19.

Police earlier said the eight violated the general community quarantine guidelines. (LMY/With reports from WBS)