Palace: Nothing wrong with raids on offices of progressive groups
MANILA, Philippine — There was nothing wrong with the move of state forces to raid offices of progressive groups in Metro Manila and in Bacolod, Malacañang said Thursday.
“The government policy is always to investigate complaints on criminal activities and if they have evidence, then they will take action,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
He said he found no irregularity in the raid against these offices “if the evidence shows that they have been engaged in criminal activities.”
Panelo even justified the police surveillance against progressive organizations that are allegedly part of the communist groups.
“That’s supposed to be the duty of the police security, if they have basis for surveillance,” he said.
The police and military raided regional offices of Bayan Muna, Gabriela, and the National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW) in Bacolod, Negros Occidental, on October 31.
State forces have arrested 57 people, including 15 minors, during the simultaneous raids.
Police said assorted firearms, grenades, and assorted ammunition were seized during the operations.
Police raided on Tuesday the office of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) in Manila and arrested three activists for alleged possession of guns and an explosive, according to rights group Karapatan.
House Deputy Minority leader and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate has condemned the crackdown against progressive groups, saying the administration’s “creeping martial law” seems to have reached the metro. /kga
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