Pride is a protest and this morning, members of the LGBTQ+ community and its allies conducted a rally in Mendiola to celebrate Pride Month and to bring attention to calls ranging from #JunkTerrorBill to #NoToJeepneyPhaseout. Manila Police District (MPD) chief Brig. Gen. Rolly Miranda confirmed that a number of protesters were apprehended on Morayta Street. AlterMidya reports that 20 protesters were transported to the police station on UN Avenue, 10 from LGBTQ+ alliance Bahaghari, eight from Gabriela and two drivers.
UPDATE: The police nabbed at least 20 protesters, 10 from @Bahaghari_Natl, 8 from @gabrielaphils & 2 drivers. They are now being transported to the police station in UN Avenue. #FreePride20
An AlterMidya staff member said in a tweet that the MPD is claiming that a protester “sprayed something on an officer’s face” which prompted an arrest. However, the staff member adds that no such incident happened as evidenced by their live coverage of the event. In a video tweeted by GMA News, several officers in fatigue uniform are seen forcefully dragging a man out of a van to make their arrest.
Bago ang tensyon, nakapag-rally pa ang mga miyembro ng LGBTQ+ sa Mendiola. Aabot sa 30 tao ang naaresto ng mga pulis dahil sa paglabag umano sa mass gathering ngayong may GCQ sa Metro Manila. | via @Isa_Umali, @dzbbpic.twitter.com/y9MdyNggcI
Gabriela Women’s Party released a statement condemning the violent dispersal and mass arrest which reads, “We are enraged over this brazen showcase of police terror ironically against activists protesting fascism and tyranny, and against the looming enactment of the Anti-Terrorism Bill. We insist that there is now law prohibiting public assemblies during the implementation of the community quarantine. The constitutional right to peaceful assembly is not suspended even amid a health emergency.”
The group revealed that police “confiscated the keys and hijacked” protestors’ vehicles and “even manhandled Chriztina Madlangbayan, who is a legislative staff of Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas.” They further called for the immediate release of the detained protesters and launched the hashtag #FreePride20
Bahaghari national spokesperson Rey Valmores-Salinas said on a live broadcast on the group’s Twitter account that the police have yet to inform them what violation against General Community Quarantine (GCQ) protocols they allegedly committed.