Zarate accuses gov’t forces of planting evidence at raided offices in Negros
MANILA, Philippines — Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate on Monday accused authorities of planting firearms and explosives in the offices of progressive groups it raided in Negros Occidental.
“Nagiging pattern na ‘yan (It’s becoming a pattern),” Zarate said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel, referring to government agents’ alleged planting of evidence.
“Dahil gusto nilang i-pin down, especially itong mga leaders of progressive organizations. Talagang magtatanim. Tahasan kong sasabihin ‘yan, nagtatanim sila ng mga ebidensya,” he added.
(They want to pin down, especially leaders of progressive organization. They’re really planting [evidence]. I will directly say this, they are planting evidence).
“Ngayon… ang tinatanim nilang ebidensya hindi na lang baril kung ‘di nagtatanim din ng explosives dahil kapag nakikitaan ka ng explosives ay non-bailable ito,” he further said.
(Now… they are not only planting firearms as evidence but also explosives because once you are caught with explosives, it’s a non-bailable offense).
Joint forces from the police and military earlier arrested 57 people, including 15 minors, in simultaneous raids in the offices of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), Kilusang Mayo Uno, Anakpawis, Gabriela, and National Federation of Sugar Workers in Bacolod City and Escalante City on October 31.
According to Zarate, the majority of the 57 arrested individuals have already been released while 11 are still detained.
Seven were charged with non-bailable offense of illegal possession of explosives and multiple possession of firearms, he added.
Zarate then sought for accountability over the alleged planting of evidence against progressive organizations.
“These things should not go unpunished, kailangan may maging accountable dito dahil namimihasa sila. Sa consistent na tindig ng mga progressive organization, alam namin nasasaktan ang pamahalaan dahil sa tuloy-tuloy na kritisismo at ito yung ginagawa nila,” he said.
(These things should not go unpunished, someone must be held accountable for this because they’re being accustomed to this. With the consistent stance of the progressive organizations, we know the administration is hurting because of the criticisms against them and so they do this.)
“Itong pagtatanim na ito ng mga ebidensya ay kailangan… magkakaroon ng accountable dito dahil hindi na lang nangyayari ito actually sa Bacolod, it is happening all over,” he added.
(This planting of evidence… there needs to be accountability for this because this is not only happening in Bacolod, it is happening all over).
Zarate questioned anew the issuance of search warrants by an executive judge of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC).
“Ang tingin namin, dito talaga mina-manufacture itong mga warrants na ito at pangalawa, very intriguing, kung hindi man suspicious, the day before the implementation of the warrant ay publicly nakita na ang bagong NCRPO (National Capital Region Police Office) director or chief, si Gen. Debold Sinas ay pumunta sa opisina nitong executive judge,” Zarate went on.
(We believe that this is where they are manufacturing the warrants. Also, it is very intriguing, if not suspicious, the day before the implementation of the warrant, the new NCRPO director or chief, Gen. Debold Sinas, went to the office of the executive judge).
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