ILIGAN CITY: The local police released 16 students at about 6 p.m. on Friday following their arrest for gathering at a public area for a silent protest marking the country’s 122nd Independence Day.
The students were arrested at about 11 a.m. and were detained at the Iligan City Police Station (ICPS) 5 for allegedly violating health protocols on social distancing, the chief of the station, Maj. Allan Abalde said.
“In the midst of the rally, (the) health protocol of social distancing was not observed, prompting the personnel of (the) Iligan City Police Station 5 and the City Intelligence Unit of the Iligan City Police Office to intervene in the activity at around 11 a.m. and invited the participants to ICPS 5 for the subsequent issuance of citation tickets,” Abalde said.
The protesters, who held up placards demanding the junking of the Anti-Terrorism Bill and calling for mass testing for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), were identified as belonging to the Stand IIT (Iligan Institute of Technology) and the Iligan Youth Advocate.
He said the students were released to their parents.
Gil Nambatac, a member of the Himugso Kolektibo, a group of young writers in Iligan City, said some of the arrested students were members and leaders of college-based organizations of the Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT).
Most of them, Nambatac said, are freshmen and “known to have critical minds.”
(PNA/ Divina Suson/ SRNY/ RSP)