/ 30 July 2020

ON THE day of President Rodrigo Duterte’s 5th State of the Nation Address last July 27, two campus journalist were reportedly arrested by local policemen in Tuguegarao City.

According to the Facebook post of Kabataan Partylist in Cagayan Valley, the two students were documenting the localized #SONAgkaisa rally, when police officers reportedly arrived at the scene and allegedly forced the young protesters to delete the recorded video contents taken during the event.

The two were allegedly brought to the Tuguegarao City police station and charges were filed against them for violating the quarantine protocol.

“The paralegal team who reportedly came to help the detained students were also taken into custody,” claimed the Kabataan Partylist.

One of the arrested students was identified as Joshua Buyogan, reportedly a campus writer for Outcrop, UP Baguio’s school paper.

As a condition for the release of the detained students, police officers from the PNP Tuguegarao City allegedly obliged them to fill out an arrest form and booking sheet. Mugshots have reportedly been taken, as well.

With the assistance of a lawyer from the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Cagayan chapter, the students and the paralegal team members were released reportedly after more than five hours of detention.

“This arrest is but a reflection of the genuine State of the Nation where democratic voices calling for free mass testing and comprehensive pandemic response are silenced,” the Kabataan said in a statement.

“We will surely seek accountability from the erring police officers who have unjustly detained our fellow youth,” the partylist group added.

At posting time, the Tuguegarao police office has not yet replied to our correspondent’s request for interview.