This photo shows members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community protesting against the anti-terror bill.
League of Filipino Students
20 arrested at Pride march against anti-terror bill in Manila
Bella Perez-Rubio ( - June 26, 2020 - 4:36pm

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 6:36 p.m.) — Police arrested 20 protesters on Friday during a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) community-organized protest against the controversial anti-terror bill in Mendiola Street, Manila.

This was confirmed by Police Lt. Col. Carlo Manuel, Manila Police District spokesperson, to GMA News.

Rights group Karapatan said 20 individuals from groups Bahaghari, Gabriela and the Children’s Rehabilitation Center, were arrested — 13 of whom are members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Bahaghari also confirmed that Rey Valmores-Salinas, the group's campaign spokesperson, was among those arrested.

In a video posted by Twitter user JL Javier, police are seen refusing to answer the media when asked which quarantine guidelines were violated by the protestors being arrested.

"They were not informed of any charges when they were accosted. What a way to commemorate pride in [the Philippines, national police!]" Karapatan Secreteray Cristina Palabay said.

Police Brig. Gen. Rolly Miranda, MPD chief,  later told GMA News that the protesters were arrested for not having a rally permit and for violating general community quarantine (GCQ) guidelines.

Bahaghari said in a tweet that they were complying with social distancing and minimum health standards issued by the government against COVID-19.

Rep. Sarah Elago (Kabataan party-list)  slammed the arrests, saying the right to peaceful assembly is not suspended during public health emergencies. 

The Commission on Human Rights made a similar statement on June 10, saying authorities cannot “halt fundamental rights including freedom of peaceful assembly and activism” even amid community quarantine.

Police also attempted to arrest an intern of independent news group Manila Today who was covering the protest.

The College Editors Guild of the Philipines (CEGP) said cops also took protesters' car keys.

PNP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac told PSN that they are monitoring reports on the incident from the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO).

Palabay in a statement pointed out that today’s arrests were "not the first time that the police and other law enforcement officials attacked the LGBTQ+ community under the guise of enforcing lockdown measures."

She was referring to an incident reported by Rappler, wherein three members of LGBTQ+ community in Brgy. Pandacaqui in Mexico, Pampanga were ordered to kiss each other and to inappropriately dance in front of a minor for violating the city’s curfew.

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: July 9, 2020 - 4:15pm

President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Anti-Terrorism Law on July 3 despite opposition from rights groups and civil society groups that it could be used to stifle human rights.

A petition against the law has been filed at the Supreme Court and other groups are preparing pleadings of their own.

Follow this page for updates. Photo courtesy of The STAR/Michael Varcas 

July 9, 2020 - 4:15pm

Activists with the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines US chapter and the Malaya movement (Malaya: U.S. Movement Against Killings and Dictatorship in the Philippines) march in Washington DC to protest passage of the Anti-Terrrorism Law and call for its scrapping.

"We unite in solidarity with the Filipino people and vehemently condemn the passing of the law. We cannot overlook the influence of the United States in the push for the Anti-Terror Law, which in design mimics the increased state surveillance and state power modeled in the U.S. Patriot Act," says ICHRP-US spokesperson Drew Elizarde-Miller.

The protests are part of a global day of action against Duterte’s Anti-Terror law. More than 10 cities joined in the US-wide condemnation gatherings, ICHRP-US also says.

July 6, 2020 - 12:16pm

Lawmakers from the Makabayan bloc at the House of Representatives file another petition against the anti-terrorism law before the Supreme Court.

The lawmakers ask the high court to review the controversial law and declare it unconstitutional "on its face."

"Its overbroad and vague definition of 'terrorism' punishes even free speech and expression, free press, and the right to peaceably assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances," the lawmakers say in a statement.

July 6, 2020 - 9:14am

Rep. Edcel Lagman (Albay) files a petition before the Supreme Court questioning the constitutionality of the anti-terrorism law.

Lagman asks the high court to issue a temporary restraining order or a writ of preliminary injunction restraining the government from enforcing the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.

The lawmaker also appeals to the SC to nullify the law as unconstitutional for "being replete with constitutional infirmities."

July 6, 2020 - 8:42am

A group of lawyers led by Howard Calleja and Bro. Armin Luistro from the De La Salle Brothers physically file the first petition against the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.

The lawyers earlier filed the petition by email last Saturday, which has been acknowledged by the Supreme Court.

July 5, 2020 - 2:05pm

The Palace declines comment on a petition against the Anti-Terrorism Law filed on Saturday.

"The Palace will leave it to the SC to decide on these petitions and will abide by whatever the ruling is," presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with