Awra remains in detention as she faces physical injuries and assault charges.
Criminal charges have been filed against Awra Briguela after her arrest outside a pub in Makati City following an alleged brawl with several individuals including employees of the bar that she and her friends went to.
Awra, whose real name is McNeal Briguela, and who uses the pronoun she and her, was slapped with charges of physical injuries, alarm and scandal, disobedience to authority, and direct assault. Her case will be forwarded to the city’s prosecutor’s office for inquest proceedings.
Based on the report of the Southern Police District (SPD), Briguela allegedly caused trouble at the Bolt Hole Bar in Poblacion, Makati until she was apprehended by police at about 5 a.m. on Thursday, June 29, 2023.
The 19-year-old Kapamilya star allegedly started a fight with the group of complainant Mark Christian Ravana, as seen in a viral video circulating online.
Police said Awra and her friends reportedly approached and confronted Mark, demanding that he remove his shirt. When Mark declined Awra allegedly followed him and tore his shirt, sparking a heated argument, which escalated after the celebrity’s friends joined in, said police.
Mark and Angelo Nino Gulmatico, a bouncer at the bar, then sought the assistance of the Poblacion Police Substation, whose officers immediately responded to the area. Awra, however, resisted arrest and allegedly used profane language while police officers tried to handcuff her, as seen in the viral video.
Mark and Angelo’s allegations, however, were disputed by Awra’s friend, content creator Zayla Nakajima who claimed in a now-deleted Facebook post, that Mark had tried to sexually harass her, and that latter merely defended her and their group.
Statement of Awra’s friend in regards with the rambulan incident.— Kapamilya Online World (@kowalerts) June 29, 2023
“This is to end all made-up stories circulating online about the Bolthole insident involving my dearest sister, Awra. Last night, Awra and the rest of our friends decided to club-hop in Poblacion, then we ended up… pic.twitter.com/8U1tWoVQRi
Police said Awra is still in detention and will remain in custody until inquest proceedings.
Support for Awra
Hours after the incident, support for Awra flooded social media particularly on Twitter with a good number of netizens even going as far as tagging Makati Mayor Abby Binay for help.
“Awra” landed among Twitter’s top trending topics, as well as “Makati PNP” and “Poblacion,” where the incident took place.
Awra’s friends and key figures in the local LBGTQIA++ society likewise defended and cried foul over what the Kapamilya star had to go through, particularly with the release of her mugshots.
One of Awra’s good friends, vlogger Riva Quenery shared that she immediately visited her friend upon learning of her detention. She questioned why Awra was the one behind bars when she was only defending someone.
Comedian Krissy Achino, who also happens to be one of Awra’ friends, appealed to the public to withhold speculations and criticisms against his friend.
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.— Tita Krissy Achino (@KrissyAchino) June 29, 2023
“Drag Race Philippines” season 1 runner-up Marina Summers questioned the use of brute force in Awra’s nabbing while “Sparks Camp” host Mela Habijan called for justice regarding the harassment accusations against Awra.
The excessive use of force was questionable. 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— Marina Summers (@marinaxsummers) June 29, 2023
People, usually men, accuse trans women of being threats to cis women.— Miss Mela Habijan (@missmelahabijan) June 30, 2023
Yet, when trans women protect their cis women sisters from harassers (who are men), trans women end up getting all the punches and blows — leaving those abusive men free from harm…
Social media influencer Sassa Gurl pointed out that the incident is a clear attack on the community.
Plsss this is an attack to the community! Ilabas niyo ang beshie ko jan— Sassa Gurl #StreamMariaHiwaga (@Itssassagurl) June 29, 2023
Finally, 2023 Quezon City Pride March director Rod Singh condemned the authorities for allegedly buying the accuser’s claims while citing the police’s anti-LGBTQIA++ actions in the past.
Napakadaling excuse yung “nakunsunadahan” ano? Na abswelto ang mga lalaki sa pakikipagbugbugan kasi nakunsunadahan sila ng bakla.— rod singh (@iamrodafrog) June 30, 2023
Syempre kinagat ng Makati pulis yan. Diba nga nagpa-oplan x-men sila dati para manghuli ng mga trans kasi magnanakaw daw? Ano na, @Mayora_Abby
Banner Art Paulo Correa