UP Maskom calls for release of student arrested at US Embassy protest

Cristina Chi - Philstar.com
UP Maskom calls for release of student arrested at US Embassy protest
Manila police restrain a youth activist after a rally at the US Embassy against the Visiting Forces Agreement and the Balikatan exercises on April 11, 2023. Two arrested activists were brought to Manila Police District Station 5 for investigation.
The STAR / Miguel de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — The University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication has urged authorities to immediately release of one of its students who was among six activists arrested during a protest in front of the US Embassy early Tuesday. 

In a statement posted on Facebook, the UP CMC called on authorities to "nurture, protect, and defend our students as they responsibly exercise their Constitutional rights."

"We call on the authorities for the immediate release of the student and for them to uphold our rights to free speech and peaceful assembly," the statement read.

According to a statement by the Defend UP Network, a student-led alliance for the protection of the university’s academic freedom, Manila police arrested Tuesday morning Film student John Gabriel Magtibay when it dispersed an unannounced protest staged by activists and other youth organizations.

The protesters rallied in front of the embassy early Tuesday morning against the continued presence of US troops in the Philippines on the first day of the 2023 Balikatan exercises — the biggest since the war games have been held.

In a separate statement, the college also urged calm and responsibility in the aftermath of the arrest. "This includes checking for the accuracy of such information, engaging in discussions civilly, and caring for each other's welfare online and in person."

It added: "We honor our freedom of information by heeding this shared responsibility."

Based on the account of the Defend UP Network, four of the six individuals arrested, who were at the protest as paralegals, have been released. 

Magtibay and another student remain at the Manila Police Station as of this post.

According to a spot report by the Ermita Police Station, the two students were part of a group that "suddenly appeared in front of [the embassy] and intentionally threw paint" at the sign and logo of the US State Department.

A tweet from the account of Magtibay shared that police rounded him and other activists up just as the protest concluded.

A member affiliated with the group working for the release of Magtibay said that the university’s legal defense team will be assisting them. Philstar.com has reached out to the UP legal defense team for further information.

vuukle comment




  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com 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!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with