Prosecutor dismisses case against 12 Southern Tagalog activists who joined anti-SONA protest

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The Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office dismissed the case on violation of the Public Assembly Act of 1985 (Batas Pambansa Blg. 880) against 12 activists from Southern Tagalog who participated in the protest action against the second State of the Nation Address (SONA) of Marcos Jr on July 24, 2023 in Quezon City. THe Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan)-Timog Katagalugan said it received the prosecutor’s resolution on April 23. The case pressed by the Quezon City police officers against the 12 was filed on August 24, 2023.

The case was dismissed without going into trial due to the lack of evidence against the accused. Among those charged are Bayan-Timog Katagalugan spokesperson Kyle Angelo Salgado, YAPJUST Chairperson John Peter Angelo Garcia, Anakbayan Southern Tagalog Coordinator Kenneth Rementilla, Defend Southern Tagalog Spokesperson Charm Maranan and eight other activists and leaders of organizations under of the regional Bayan chapter.

“Bayan-Timog Katagalugan asserts that this is a form of judicial harassment to silence those who oppose and expose the bankruptcy of the Marcos Jr administration’s policies,” according to the group. The shrinking of the democratic space for protests under the regime of the dictator’s son is also very evident, it said.

In addition to the 12 Southern Tagalog activists, it will be recalled that the police also charged Bayan visual artist Max Santiago and three others for violating the Clean Air Act (Republic Act No. 8749) when an effigy that they created was burned during the second SONA. The case against them was dismissed in December 2023 due to the lack of merit.

“Instead of listening to the grievances of the protestors, fabricated cases are being used by a government that maintains an old and decaying system that only serves the interests of the rulers of the country,” Bayan-Timog Katagalugan emphasized.

AB: Prosecutor dismisses case against 12 Southern Tagalog activists who joined anti-SONA protest