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Several groups have condemned the arrest of three youth leaders on President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s inauguration day.
Akbayan Youth chairperson RJ Naguit and Sentro Youth members Benjamin Alvero and Jane Labongray were arrested by police while attempting to hang banners expressing opposition to President Marcos Jr. at a footbridge along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City on Thursday, June 30.
In a statement, the Nagkaisa Labor Coalition said the arrest is a violation of the freedom of expression of the youth leaders.
"Police charged at the contingent even after the end of the short action. The banner was forcefully torn from the participants and the three youth leaders were violently arrested and dragged towards police vehicles," Nagkaisa’s statement read.
"Throughout the incident, the officers refused to explain why the arrest was being made and were very rough with the detained. One female participant was grabbed violently on the arm and nape despite complying with the officers,” it added.
Renato M. Reyes, Jr., secretary general of progressive group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, also questioned the arrest.
“Why would you arrest them for hanging banners on a footbridge?” he said. “Throwback to the Marcosian Martial Law indeed.”
Akbayan Youth on social media said the youth activists were released later that day following a dialogue with the police. No charges filed against them.