The arrest of a student activist who disrupted President Benigno S. Aquino III during his Independence Day speech is not a deprivation of freedom of expression, Malacanang said on Saturday.
It can be recalled that 19-year-old student Emmanuel Mijares was arrested by Naga City police after making a sudden outburst which distracted the President during his speech at Plaza Quince Martires in Naga City on Independence Day.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte in an interview over state-run dzRB said that local city police arrested Mijares to ensure that the Independence Day rites remained orderly and peaceful.
She stressed that it was the Naga City police who filed charges against the protester and not the Presidential Security Group (PSG).
“It was the local PNP who filed cases and it was not to curtail freedom of expression,” Valte said.
Reports said that the activist was charged with “tumults and other disturbances of public order” or essentially creating “alarm and public scandal.”
He was also charged with “assault against an agent of person of authority” for resisting arrest and damaging the uniform of an arresting officer. (PNA)