Lawyer: Armed men seen outside offices of NUPL, Bayan, Karapatan
MANILA, Philippines — Armed men in motorcycles and cars, along with military trucks, have reportedly surrounded the offices of National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL), Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, and Karapatan, a lawyer said on Thursday.
Citing reports reaching the NUPL, lawyer Edre Olalia said men in uniform and civilian attire were seen outside a building in Diliman, Quezon City, which houses the offices of the three organizations.
“Reports reaching NUPL: Armed men in motorcycles, cars & a military truck, both uniformed & in civilian attire, are presently surrounding & within vicinity of building housing Bayan, Karapatan & NUPL offices at No. 1 Matatag cor. Maaralin St., QC,” Olalia said in a message to reporters.
He also said that one National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) consultant told them that unknown elements are following him and monitoring his movements.
“Last night, an NDF consultant sent an SOS that he was being tailed & that a riding-in-tandem was posted outside the place he was staying. Lawyers are on their way,” Olalia added.
All three progressive groups have expressed their support for peace talks with communist rebels and have had a few brushes with government forces. Members of Karapatan and NUPL, in particular, have been slapped with kidnapping charges for allegedly forcefully abducting the child-witness in the Sagay massacre.
Last November, nine farmers from Sagay City in Negros Occidental were killed by still unknown assailants, while enduring “Tiempo Muerto” or the dead season for sugarcane farming.
Karapatan and NUPL denied the accusations, saying that the mother of the minor asked for help to shield her son from authorities’ pressure. /je
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