Political prisoners condemn attacks vs activists, legal organizations

Amidst the continuing assault against legal progressive organizations and human rights workers, political prisoners in Metro Manila District Jail (MMDJ) - Annex 4 in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig vehemently condemned the recent questionable arrest of five (5) activists in Tacloban City.

In a statement, the political prisoners stated that the arrests are part of the long list of the "unrelenting attacks against the people" by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) under this administration's Oplan Kapanatagan.

Alexander Philip Abinguna, KARAPATAN National Council member for Eastern Visayas; Mira Legion of BAYAN; Marissa Cabaljao of People Surge; Frenchie Mae Cumpio of Eastern Vista; and Marielle Domequil of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP), were arrested in simultaneous raids conducted by joint forces of the Armed Forces of the Philippinesa and the Philippine National Police in the early morning of February 7, for alleged possession of firearms and explosives.

“These continuing fascist attacks perpetrated with impunity by state security forces wantonly violate democratic and human rights, as well as civil liberties guaranteed by the constitution. They aim to coerce and intimidate all those opposed to the Duterte regime, and suppress all struggles for the welfare and demands of the Filipino masses,” the political prisoners said. 

They also averred that the "NTF-ELCAC-directed" tactics are designed as a means  to hamper the resumption of the peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). "These fascist attacks, also sabotage people's efforts led by the progressive movement to press for the resumption of peace negotiations that will address the masses' demands for substantive social, economic and political reforms."

Only two days prior to the raids  in Tacloban, Engr. Jennefer Aguhob, KARAPATAN National Council member in Western Mindanao, was also arrested based on false charges of murder. 

“While calamities like the Taal eruption and the NCOV epedemic are wreaking havoc and hardship on the people, the Duterte regime throws away an opportunity to alleviate the people's suffering by putting an end to the civil war. Instead, it continues to push and show the toiling masses, activists and especially the youth that they have no other recourse and hope for genuine change but through the armed struggle."

"We, the political prisoners, are one with the victims of Duterte's desperate attempt to cling to his power. We call on everyone to echo the call for justice for all the victims of this regime's fascist rule, and continuously fight to end Duterte's tyrannical reign," they concluded.


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