Cebu court dismisses remaining two cases against Cebu 8

This article is available in Pilipino

The remaining two cases against seven activists and one other person known as the Cebu 8 were dismissed by a court in Cebu City, in relation to their protest held on June 5, 2020. After four years, the cases were dismissed on June 27 due to lack of evidence, in a decision which was made public on July 3.

The Cebu 8 consists of seven activists – Jaime Paglinawan Sr, Joahanna Veloso, Janry Ubal, Bern Canedo, Al Ingking, April Dyan Gumanao, and Nar Porlas – along with passerby Clement Corominas Jr. They were illegally arrested in 2020 at the height of the pandemic while conducting a rally against the then-proposed Anti-Terrorism Law at the University of the Philippines (UP)-Cebu.

The dismissed charges included violations of Batas Pambansa 880 (rallying without a permit) and disobedience to police officers. Meanwhile, charges related to violating pandemic health protocols were previously dismissed in September 2020.

“We are overjoyed with the positive decision. The dismissal of the remaining cases against the Cebu 8 is proof of victory against police abuse who use their power to arrest, imprison individuals through the law, and silence those who continue to fight,” said Jaime Paglinawan Sr, spokesperson for Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan)-Central Visayas.

The ruling affirms that the law does not prohibit assemblies and rallies. “Moreover, no one should be punished or considered a criminal for participating in or attending peaceful protests,” Paglinawan added.

He and his fellow Cebu 8 members expressed gratitude to all those who supported and joined their call to dismiss the harassment cases against them.

AB: Cebu court dismisses remaining two cases against Cebu 8