LOS ANGELES — After two days, Bulacan police have released the 19 people arrested during Monday’s violent protest at NutriAsia, where ongoing labor disputes have escalated into picket lines, protests, and boycotts.
While US-based family and supporters welcomed the release, they are expected to speak to U.S. state department officials and their local congressman.
They have more questions on the violent protest that resulted in the arrests of two Los Angeles-based activists — Eric Tandoc, a dual citizen, and his wife Hiyasmin Saturay, a Philippine national.
A few hours before their release, Tandoc’s parents met with Philippine consul general Adel Cruz, bringing activists, local government officials, and faith groups, looking for answers, and hoping for some relief.
“Why is this happening to them? They are very compassionate and down to earth people, all they want to do is help out those who don’t have a voice,” said Amy Tandoc.
While Cruz vowed that he was working around the clock to monitor the case, community members talked about the impact of the couple. They also expressed concern that the arrests, which they claim were unjust, were conducted by members of the Philippine National Police.
As activists wait to hear from lawmakers, Cruz also offered to arrange a meeting for the Tandoc family and activists with US-based NutriAsia officials.