HK drops case vs OFW arrested in anti-government protest

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Kowloon City Magistrates Courts

The HK government has decided to drop the case against the overseas Filipino worker arrested during an anti-government protest in Mong Kok in August.

A government lawyer told Kowloon City Presiding Magistrate Aida Yim early this afternoon (Nov. 26) that they were withdrawing the charge of unlawful assembly against Jethro S. Pioquinto, who works as a dancer at Hong Kong Disneyland, and another male defendant arrested with him.

“We are applying for the withdrawal of both charges against the defendants,” he said.

The prosecutor did not explain the reason behind the government’s decision to withdraw the case.

Pioquinto thanked his fellow overseas Filipinos in HK for their prayers and messages of support.

“The messages of support from the Filipino community have been overwhelming,” he said.

Pioquinto’s camp earlier insisted that he was just a passerby on his way home when he was arrested during a police dispersal operation against protesters at the corner of Fife Street and Nathan Road at around 11:15 pm on August 3.

Pioquinto’s lawyer earlier noted that the charge sheet against the Filipino only mentioned that “the crowd of protesters, (Pioquinto and another defendant) amongst them, started to disperse and the police gave chase”.

“That’s the only allegation against them,” the lawyer said. “(Pioquinto) lives in Prince Edward and he was on his way home (when he was arrested).”

She added that no protest materials were found when he was searched. The police only found his shoulder bag, mobile phone, and Octopus card.