Is Duterte the only one allowed to call critics ‘gago’? — Bayan Muna to police

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Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate and Bayan Muna chairman Neri Colmenares on Friday condemned the arrest of salesman Reynaldo Orcullo for calling president Duterte “gago” or stupid on social media.

The Makabayan leaders slammed the police for arresting those “who disagree with President Rodrigo Duterte while allowing Duterte and his supporters to vilify dissenters.”

“We condemn in the strongest terms the arrest of salesman Reynaldo Orcullo as well as other netizens critical of President Rodrigo Duterte in the internet,” Colmenares said.

“This is an attack on the constitutional right to freedom of expression especially when Duterte and his supporters remain untouched by state security forces for serious attacks against perceived opponents and dissenters,” he said.

“Worse, it was illegal because the salesman was arrested without a warrant as required by Section 2, Article III of the Constitution. Under the law, the police should have asked for a warrant from the courts, instead of immediately arresting him, which makes them accountable for illegal arrest under the Revised Penal Code,” said Colmenares

“Si President Duterte parang hayop ang trato nya sa mga tingin nyang kalaban nya, may

kasama pang mura at lahat ng pag yurak sa dangal,” he said.

“Tinawag nyang gago, magnanakaw o rapist ang mga pari at obispo. Bakit di sya kinakasuhan ng mga pulis? Pag si Duterte ang bumira, ok lang, pero pag ordinaryong tao ang bumira sa kanya, hindi na ok? That is tyranny and a clear intolerance of dissent,” Colmenares said.

“On June 26, 2019 Pres. Duterte in his speech during the 122nd anniversary of Presidential Security Group (PSG) called former SC Justice Antonio Carpio ‘stupid’. Why would the police arrest Orcullo for a supposed crime which Duterte himself has committed?” he said.

“This smacks of harassment as well as discrimination against the poor and defenseless and protecting the rich and powerful like Duterte,” Colmenares said.

“Ang problem ng mga pulis ay kung may isang milyong dissenters na tawagin syang gago sa Facebook, magkaka problema sila dahil isang milyon ang huhulihin nila para proteksyunan ang mahal nilang lider. So we challenge the police to also investigate Pres. Duterte for calling his opponents gago, istupido and other libelous remarks,” he said.

Zarate, on the other hand, called on the victims unjustly arrested to file before the Ombudsman or courts counter charges against the police who arrested them merely for criticizing the government.

“Those unjustly arrested for merely criticizing Pres. Duterte can file a case for illegal arrest as well as counter charges against the police in the Ombudsman or in ordinary courts,” he said.

“We also call on lawyers throughout the country to provide legal services to those

unjustly arrested and those who wish to file counter charges against those who abuse their power,” Zarate said.

“This is not the kind of intolerant society which we wish our children to live in. So this Online Tokhang should be stopped,” he said.