Gov’t forces abducted Bayan Muna supporters? Show us witnesses — police
MANILA, Philippines — The chief of the Bulacan police on Monday dared Bayan Muna chairman and senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares to show witnesses that government forces abducted two of the partylist’s supporters in Bulacan.
“Sana merong witnesses na magsasabi (I hope they have witnesses who can say that,” Police Colonel Chito Bersaluna, director of the Bulacan police, told INQUIRER.net.
On Sunday at around 4:20 p.m., police received a report from the parents of John Griefin Arlegui, 19, and Reynaldo Viernes, 24, that their sons were missing and could not be contacted since Saturday morning.
The two reportedly left home on Saturday morning to go to the municipality of Angat on board a black rusi tricycle. The vehicle was later found abandoned in Barangay Sta. Cruz in the said municipality, according to police.
In a statement, Bayan Muna chair and senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares claimed that government forces are the “only ones with the motive and capability” to stage the abduction, as he also said the two were activists campaigning for the partylist for the May 13 elections.
Colmenares alleged that witnesses from the group Kadamay claimed that Arlegui and Viernes were held at gunpoint by armed men near an Iglesia ni Cristo church in Barangay Sta. Cruz before they were forced inside a car without a license plate.
In a statement, Philippine National Police chief General Oscar Albayalde said the that the two were actually arrested for illegal possession of firearms and explosives.
The two were not missing but were arrested by joint operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group of the PNP and the intelligence unit of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, said Bersaluna.
Albayalde said the two were presented before state prosecutors for inquest on Monday. /ee
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