Go after the fugitives Palparan and Reyes, not ordinary citizens and activists
As the P-Noy government continues to display its leniency on the case of the two high-profile fugitives, former Gen. Jovito Palparan, Jr. and former Palawan Governor Joel Reyes, it has on the other hand, arrested eight people, including a minor, on the basis of trumped up charges such as kidnapping, rebellion, illegal possession of firearms, robbery in band and terrorism.
Karapatan reported that, “in a span of one week, and while the nation was about to observe the holy week, the P-Noy government arrested and detained eight persons: five in Nueva Ecija, two in Las Pinas, Metro Manila and Bayan Negros Occidental secretary general in Bacolod. The latter was arrested and detained but is now out on bail. All seven others are currently detained, with no clear basis aside from the usual fabricated cases. The police asserts that one of the persons arrested in Las Piñas has a standing warrant of arrest for a supposed kidnapping with murder charges. Those arrested in Nueva Ecija were slapped with various common crime charges after their inquest.”
“We condemn this government’s continuing pretensions of going after erring government and military officials while in reality, its efforts are geared towards hunting down people whom it perceives as its ‘enemies’. While the likes of Palparan and Reyes who have clear charges against them continue to roam freely, activists and ordinary people are arrested and detained arbitrarily on trumped up criminal charges to conceal the political nature of their arrests and detention,” said Marie Hilao-Enriquez, Karapatan’s chairperson.
Hilao-Enriquez added that, “in the case of Nueva Ecija, around 100 soldiers of the 56th IB-PA and policemen under the Nueva Ecija Police Provincial office even resorted to staging a gunfight with supposed members of the New People’s Army (NPA) and planted evidence to justify the arrest of five people, including a former political detainee and a minor. One of those arrested was tending his farm when soldiers saw him and tied him up.”
Lastly, Hilao-Enriquez called on the P-Noy government “to stop persecuting people whom it considers as ‘enemies of the state’. The more the government does this, the more it proves to the whole nation that it is no different from the Arroyo regime. The government should instead turn its gun to the real fugitives and enemies of the people, those who are clearly rights violators and criminals, those with real crimes against the people.”