A priest of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) was arrested by the police and placed in handcuffs at an indignation caravan in Jaro, Iloilo City on May 1.
Fr. Marco Sulayao, a priest in the Diocese of Iloilo, is currently detained with 41 others at Jaro Police Station after being arrested by elements of Police Regional Office 6.
The priest is also the Chairperson of the Promotion of Church People’s Response-Panay and Guimaras (PCPR Panay-Guimaras).
As part of May 1 International Labor Day commemoration, religious groups and people’s organization held the indignation caravan to condem the killing of Jory Porquia.
Porquia was a veteran activist from the martial law period of former President Ferdinand Marcos. He was coordinator of Bayan Muna party-list in Iloilo City at the time of his death.
Porquia was shot dead outside a house he was temporarily staying in the early morning of April 30. Bayan Muna in Panay island believes his assassination is “part of political killings aimed at terrorizing activists” critical of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration.
The indignation caravan also drew attention to Duterte’s handling of the Covid-19 outbreak. Protesters denounced his administration’s incompetence in addressing the spread of the pandemic.
Sulayao was head of the negotiations panel during the protest. After three rounds of failed attempts to allow their group to lay a wreath and light candles where Porquia was killed, the protesters went to disperse.
The police, however, blocked the protesters from leaving and started arrest. Sulayao and others were charged with illegal assembly and violations of the enhanced community quarantine.