Twenty participants of an LGBTQIA Pride march were arrested in the City of Manila on Friday, June 26.
The protesters were peacefully marching towards Mendiola, when they were accosted by law enforcers who – captured videos show – did not specify the crimes committed, or cited Republic Act No. 11469 or the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act”, a law enacted in March to give Pres. Rodrigo Duterte additional authority to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
Incidentally, the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act” is no longer valid, lapsing on June 24.
Videos circulating online showed confusion on the side of the law enforcers.
For instance, at least one member of the media was also initially arrested.
Law enforcers also allegedly illegally took possession of the vehicles used by some of the protesters; using the same to bring those arrested to the precinct.
In a statement, Bahaghari Kamaynilaan – which was in the protest – said it condemns the illegal and violent dispersal of the peaceful protesters.
“Mariing kinukundena ng Bahaghari ang iligal at marahas na pagbuwag sa mapayapang kilos-protestang isinagawa ng mga LGBT at mga kaalyado nito kaninang umaga sa Mendiola bilang paggunita sa ika-51 taon ng Stonewall Riots bitbit ang panawagang pagbabasura sa Anti-Terrorism Bill. Dalawampu sa mga naging bahagi ng pagkilos ang inaresto at kasalukuyang nasa Manila Police District dahil umano sa illegal assembly, disobedience, at paglabag sa social distancing sa Bayanihan Act na paso na mula pa noong Lunes. Hindi katanggap-tanggap ang aktong ito ng kapulisan at malinaw itong paglabag sa ating karapatan magtipon at magpahayag.“
Particularly as a call for LGBTQIA Pride to continue being a protest, not just a festive/party, Bahaghari Kamaynilaan is calling for LGBTQIA people to “magkapit-bisig at magkaisa! Sama-sama at patuloy nating labanan ang pasismo ng estado! Ang Pride ay protesta! Ang Pride ay paglaban!“