MANILA, Philippines — Leaders and members of Anakpawis party-list on Monday, 04 November 2019, joined hundreds of activists under the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) at an indignation protest in front of Camp Crame to condemn the October 31 – mass arrests of more than 50 activists in Bacolod City and three in Manila, using dubious warrants.
Former Anakpawis lawmaker and Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) National Chairperson Fernando Hicap who joined the protest, accused the Duterte administration for carrying out the crackdown against activists with the use of dubious warrants issued by a Quezon City court.
“We denounce the issuance of the search warrants against activists as these served as license to political persecution and imposition of an absolutist rule where critics and opposition are repressed and silenced,” Hicap said in a press statement.
The victims of mass arrest in Bacolod City and in Manila cry fabrication of evidences of illegal possession of firearms and explosives by elements of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
Among those arrested belong to the Anakpawis Party-list, Bayan Muna Party-list, National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW), Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), including retrenched workers of Ceres Transportation, Gabriela, Teatro Obrero, whose members are young cultural artists, and Paghimutad community media.
“The amalgamation of executive issuances against activists such as Memorandum Order 32 covering Negros, Samar and Bicol, the Executive Order 70 or the whole-of-nation approach to counter-insurgency, the collusion of the judiciary and the apparent puppetry of the legislative, all spell undermining of separation of powers and towards an absolutist rule, to destroy the people’s freedom and democracy in the country,” Hicap said.
He added that these incidents are beyond the issue of involvement with the legal and democratic movement, as these abuses if left unopposed could be used against any citizen in the country.
“The jurisprudence of political persecution is not exclusive against activists, it is against all Filipinos, to benefit Duterte’s tyranny. We call for the freedom-loving Filipinos to condemn the crackdown against activists and gross trampling of basic rights and due process,” he ended. (STACY ANG/IAMIGO/CNS)