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#JusticeForAwra trends; celebrities, influencers defend actor

THE hashtag #JusticeForAwra has been trending on Twitter since Thursday night in reference to actress-comedian Awra Briguela — Mcneal Briguela in real life — who stirred up a major buzz on social media after her arrest following a brawl at a bar in Makati City on Thursday night.

The fistfight at the bar in Barangay Poblacion, which involved Briguela and multiple bar-goers, has been captured on video and went viral.

Authorities were also seen dragging Briguela and escorted her to their mobile before taking her to the police station.

Awra Briguela OFFICIAL FACEBOOK PHOTO

The 19-year-old is facing physical injuries, alarm and scandal, disobedience to authority, and direct assault charges after the incident.

Celebrities rally behind Briguela

In the wake of the highly publicized altercation, numerous influencers and celebrity friends of Briguela showed support and defended the ABS-CBN talent.

YouTuber Riva Quenery said she immediately went to the police station after learning about what happened.

Calling out the police officers who intervened, she posted on Twitter, “Isang malaking katanungan lang 'yung nasa isip ko at ng maraming tao na kung bakit si Awra lang ang pinosasan at inaresto? Nasaan 'yung mga ibang lalaking na-involve sa away?”

(The only big question in my mind and that of many people is why only Awra was handcuffed and arrested? Where are the other men involved in the fight?)

“Laliman niyo naman ang imbestigasyon niyo. Hindi 'yung alam niyo nang mali, pinaninindigan niyo pa. So nasaan na yung mga nanghipo sa mga kaibigan ni Awra? Nasaan na 'yung sumapak sa kanila na kahit may pulis na dumating eh hindi nagsitigil at kay Awra lang lahat naka-focus. Achievement ba para sa inyo dahil si Awra ang nahuli niyo?

(Deepen your investigation. You already know you are wrong yet you still stand by it. So where are those who harassed Awra's friends? What happened to those who punched them that even after the police came, they didn't stop and everyone was focused on Awra? Is it your achievement that you caught Awra?),” Quenery added.

YouTube star and influencer Zeinab Harake expressed support saying, “Hindi na kinakaya ng sikmura ko ang sakit sakit sa puso #JusticeForAwra. ban nakcha pinaka the best ka sa lahat walang makakabago ng tingin namin sayo lalong lalo na ako madami kaming andito para sayo.”

(I can't take the heartache anymore. #JusticeForAwra. You're the very best and nothing will change how we look at you, especially me, and we're all here for you.)

Actor JC Alcantara wrote on Facebook, “Yung kaibigan mong ipagtatanggol ka at walang takot makipagaway at kahit makulong man. Maprotektahan at mapagtanggol kalang! Etoo ang tunay! tunay na kaibigan Awra Briguela. PS: si awra po pinaglaban nya lang yung tama. Saka hindi yan lalaban kung walang masamang ginawa sakanila yung tao.”

(This is the kind of friend who will defend you and is not afraid to fight and even be imprisoned just to protect and defend you. This is the real one!! A true friend Awra Briguela. PS: Awra only fought for what was right. He fights even when the person does nothing bad to him.)

Close friend and content creator Tita Krissy Achino said on Twitter, “Never make assumptions without knowing the entire context of the story. It is sad to see that those who stood up against harassment and bullying are now in jail and facing criticism. The irony is that the ones who defended themselves ended up being detained.”

“Knowing Awra, she is the kind of person who will defend you no matter what happens. Our friends and I consider ourselves fortunate to have someone like her in our lives who is & will always be there to fight for us, through thick and thin,” she added.

Drag queen and “Drag Race Philippines” runner-up Marina Summers mentioned on Twitter the questionable excessive use of force by the police.

“Based on the videos, Awra was unarmed. The heavy manhandling was unnecessary. Makati Poblacion is such a cruel place for queer people. @Mayora_Abby what's happening? Something frightening always comes up during Pride Month in this city. Makati Police where is this energy to that guy who allegedly sexually harassed the girl Awra was trying to protect and defend? Are you afraid of queer people?”

Finally, UP Babaylan, the longest-existing LGBTQI student organization in Asia based in the University of the Philippines Diliman, condemned the police's “brutality and transphobia.”

“The injustice that Awra experienced is one of the many recurring narratives of discrimination that women, transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) people face daily. With only Awra being detained and the sexual harassers roaming unpunished, this is a testament that women and TGNC individuals are at greater risk, as they are demonized and are assumed of their worst in all situations,” the group wrote on Twitter.

“Being a woman and having fun in a public bar are not and will never be an invitation for violence. We condemn how the Makati Police tackled the situation at hand. Time and again, the Philippine National Police has proven itself as a macho-feudal institution borne of patriarchy. They manhandled Awra while she was trying to explain what transpired. They filed a case against Awra while they allowed the harassers to go scot-free. They chose not to listen to the side of the women who were harassed. Undeniably, at their core are misogyny, sexism, transphobia and homophobia!” they added.

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Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net

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