By AARON MACARAEG
MANILA– The 20 LGBTQI+ protesters were released today June 30 from police custody, upon the recommendation of the city prosecutor’s office.
In the release order, Assistant City Prosecutor Laudamer Daza recommended the charges against arrested LGBTQI+ protesters, dubbed as the Pride20, to undergo preliminary investigation and consequently ordered for their release.
At around 8:00 pm, the Pride20 have been released from Manila Police District (MPD) after being detained for four days.
However, while the 20 were released, the charges against them – resistance and disobedience to authority, illegal assembly and violation of Republic Act No. 11332 or the Law on Reporting of Communicable Diseases – remain until dismissed at the preliminary investigation by the fiscal, according to the group’s lawyer Minerva Lopez.
Under the Philippine criminal system, preliminary investigation is held to determine probable cause to determine whether a crime is committed and if respondents are probably guilty thereof.
Dubbed as #Pride20, they were earlier violently dispersed when they held a protest action in Mendiola on June 26, despite adhering to COVID-19 health standards, particularly on physical distancing and wearing of face masks. Three of the minors who were arrested with them were released later that afternoon.
The 17 released from Pride20 tonight are Andy Lamac-Lamac, Nicky Lamac-Lamac, Kim Vinzar Samiana, Nehemiah Hidos, Joan Salvador, Marya Liwliwa Estavillo, Regelio Feguro, Ronel Artisuela, Joan Bernadette Paz-Bonganay, Ma. Chriztina Madlangbayan, John Marc Cho Santos, Aljohn Estrella, Andrew Zarate, Rey Salinas, Gwyneth Pacyaya, Carla Remedios, and Mark Bolima.