Duterte Youth Chair Ronald Cardema said his group wanted to attend the protests along EDSA on Saturday since they were being held by groups who, they believed, were against the government.
"We just wanted to show our support to [President Rodrigo Duterte]. EDSA is not under any one group. Paano naging masama na magpakita kami doon at magpakitang suporta sa Presidente?" Cardema said in a press briefing.
[Translation: How was it wrong for us to go up there and show our support to the President?]
He denied Paredes' claims they crashed the protests, saying they only stayed by the street so they could talk to passersby.
He recounted that Paredes walked up to them and started shouting at them, calling them trolls and bots, and challenging them to answer questions about the government's controversial drug war.
"Maya-maya, hawak namin 'yung tarp. Bigla kaming, 'yung mga nakapalibot kay Jim Paredes, bigla kaming hinataw sa tiyan tapos kinuha yung tarpaulin. We were hit on the stomach to distract us from holding the tarpaulin tapos kinuha na 'yung tarpaulin," he said.
[Translation: Later on, we were holding a tarp. Suddenly, the people around Jim Paredes hit us on the stomach then took our tarpaulin. We were hit in the stomach to distract us from holding the tarpaulin then they took the tarpaulin.]
During the same briefing, private lawyer Lorenzo Gadon volunteered to take up the case of the Duterte Youth pro bono, calling them "brave young men" for standing up against the "arrogant" Paredes.
"Buong-buo ang posibleng kaso kay Paredes. Maaaring kasuhan siya ng unjust vexation kasi pinahiya niya 'yung mga bata, pati na rin ang theft, kasi ninakaw nila yung tarp ng grupo," he said in an interview.
[Translation: There is a solid case against Paredes. He can be charged with unjust vexation for shaming the boys, as well as theft, because they stole the tarp of the group.]
Should the group decide to go through with the case, Gadon said he could file charges in one to two weeks. A decision will likely be out in six months.
The Duterte Youth was invited by Solicitor General Jose Calida to his office to praise them for their actions. He awarded them with pins during the press briefing in Makati on Monday.
The Office of the Solicitor General, however, is not involved in the case.