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#ProtectAwra and #JusticeForAwra trend over the weekend as Filipinos and co-celebrities defend her after bar commotion

#ProtectAwra and #JusticeForAwra trended last weekend as Filipinos spoke out for comedian and actress McNeal “Awra” Briguela after being arrested due to a brawl that happened outside the Bolthole Bar in Poblacion, Makati early Thursday morning, June 19.

The 19-year-old allegedly instigated a fight with the complainant, identified as Mark Christian Ravana, who was reportedly approached by Briguela’s group demanding him to remove his shirt. When Ravana declined, Briguela’s group allegedly followed him and tore his shirt, escalating into a fight, according to a report by the Southern Police District.

Briguela was said to have resisted arrest after the police officers came and allegedly used profane language while they try to handcuff her. She is charged with physical injuries, alarm and scandal, disobedience to authority, and direct assault.

However, according to a now-deleted Facebook post by content creator Zayla Nakajima who is with Briguela during the incident, Ravana tried to sexually harass her, and Briguela was just trying to defend her.

“After this harassment against me and my friend Mary Joy, my dear friend Awra confronted the guy very calmly after the party to defend me and our friend,” she said in the post.

The incident caused Filipinos online to question the arrest of Briguela including YouTuber Riva Quenery who called out the police officer who arrested the actress.

“Isang malaking katanungnan lang yung nasa isip ko at ng maraming tao na kung BAKIT SI AWRA LANG ANG PINOSAS-AN AT INARESTO? Nasaan yung mga ibang lalaking na involve sa away?” she wrote in the post.

She also asked the authority to conduct a thorough investigation of the incident, including the other party in the fight, “Laliman niyo naman ang imbestigasyon niyo hindi yung alam niyo nang mali, paninindigan niyo pa,” she wrote.

She added, “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 AND NAHULI NIYO?”

https://twitter.com/RivaQuenery_/status/1674438678373097473?s=20

Television host and advocate Bianca Gonzalez also shared a photo explaining the incident with the hashtag #JusticeForAwra.

Content creator Zeinab Harake and former Binibining Pilipinas candidate Ayn Berros also expressed their sympathy and support for Briguela.

https://twitter.com/ZeinabHarake11/status/1674424250114146312?s=20

https://twitter.com/aynbernos/status/1674441419921186817?s=20

Online users are also giving their kudos to Briguela for braving up and defending her friend.

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via Twitter
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via Twitter
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via Twitter

The actress was able to post bail over the past weekend. However, the internet is now divided as to whether Awra is really at fault after a series of CCTV footage was unveiled to the public. Though some consider that Awra may be at fault, the majority still believes that the police’s way of handling the situation and their prejudiced statements against gay people are unacceptable.

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