Quit Coal Quilt Action in Iloilo: Anti-Coal Protester Arrested.

Posted on October 8, 2010 by

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October 6, 2010.  While the whole world is busy preparing for 10/10/10, youth leader Joy James Saguino from Anakbayan was arrested during an anti-coal protest  led by Madiaas Ecological Movement and BAYAN-Panay.  The group was protesting against the planned second test-firing of the coal plant in Brgy. Ingore, La Paz on October 11, 2010, which is still  the Global Work Party day for the other parts of the world.

Here is the rest of the story as printed on the local newspaper, Panay News

Arrest of anti-coal plant protester hit

BY JEZZA NEPOMOCENO

ILOILO City – Militant groups criticized the arrest and detention of a youth leader who protested against the coal-fired power plant here during Wednesday’s session of the Sangguniang Panlungsod.

Anakbayan regional spokesperson Joy James Saguino and other students attended the regular session of the City Council and displayed slogans protesting the planned second test-firing of the coal-fired power plant in Brgy. Ingore, La Paz on October 11.

Retired police colonel Dionisio Duco, sergeant-at-arms of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, had told them beforehand to keep their materials out of view and just peacefully listen to the session.

The youth protesters, however, continued with their “silent” protest and promised to leave the session hall in a few minutes to join an ongoing multi-sectoral mass action outside.

As they were leaving, right at the perimeter of the session hall Saguino chanted “Coal-fired power plant salot! Talagang salot! Kasalot-salutan!”

Duco right away arrested and brought him to the Iloilo City Police Station 1.

“A mere chant from an activist expressing his opposition to the coal-fired power plant does not constitute a crime. He did not disturb nor disrupt the session,” argued Hope Hervilla, chairperson of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan Panay).

Saguino was charged with disturbing the proceedings in violation of Article 144 of the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines.

“We could attest that Saguino chanted when he was already outside of the session hall. The student did not have the intention to bring shame to the members of the City Council. The chant was not aimed inside nor addressed to any member of the Council to cause disruption of the proceedings. We expected the sergeant-at-arms to be more tolerant of actions like these,” said Hervilla.

Bayan also slammed Duco for his “arrogance” inside the police station.

“He tried to open the bag of Lean Porquia of the League of Filipino Students while he was looking for the piece of paper displayed earlier by Saguino at the session hall. Porquia resisted.

We believe it was Duco who committed a crime for illegal search, even inside the police station,” said Hervilla.

“Even if authorities will say that individual freedom has boundaries, we still believe that our police officers must know the extent of this boundary before applying the full force of the law. Saguino and his group are seriously contemplating of filing charges against Duco for illegal arrest and illegal search,” she revealed.

Sanguino was detained at the Police Station 1 lockup cell for almost six hours, from 4:30 p.m. until 10:15 p.m./PN, October 8, 2010

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Today is the 100th day of President Aquino in office. We are disappointed with his inaction on the new coal projects despite the Philippine’s vulnerability to climate change and the existing vast renewable energy resources of the country. We are disappointed with the continued violation of human rights under his regime.

P-Noy, Stop New Coal Projects in the Philippines! Uphold Human Rights!

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