DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Two militant lawmakers denounced as “harassment” the child abuse charges filed against them in relation to the protest action held last October in this city which included the participation of minors.
“I denounce the complaint filed by the Davao PNP against Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao and me, alleging violation of RA 7610 (Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act),” ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio said in a statement Wednesday night.
Sr. Insp. Lilibeth Remolar, in her affidavit of complaint, alleged that Tinio and Casilao forced children to join their rally held back in October 23 in the city’s Freedom Park at Roxas St.
Remolar claimed that all minor children were seen holding placards with anti-government sentiments, adding that the lawmakers were “influencing the minors to be angry and to resent the present government.”
These acts, according to Remolar, constituted a violation of Article VI, Section 10 of Republic Act No. 7610 or the Anti-Child Abuse Law including Article 3 of Presidential Decree No. 603.
“This is a malicious attempt to criminalize the exercise of our constitutionally guaranteed rights to free speech, peaceful assembly, and petition the government for redress of grievances. We denounce the use of trumped-up charges to harass members of the Makabayan bloc,” Tinio said.
The militant lawmaker said they would “face this baseless complaint and shall remain steadfast in our advocacy for people’s rights and welfare.” (davaotoday.com)