Bulacan cops detain ex-Anakpawis rep, other activists set to deliver aid to farmers — Bayan Muna
MANILA, Philippines – Former Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao and other activists who were set to deliver lockdown aid to farmers in Norzagaray, Bulacan, were detained at the Bulacan Police Provincial Office, according to information from Bayan Muna.
A statement from Bayan Muna on Sunday said that Casilao and other members of the Tulong Anakpawis, Sagip Kanayunan relief operations amid the COVID-19 pandemic were stopped at a checkpoint in Norzagaray around 10:15 a.m.
Bayan Muna added that six volunteers plus the driver of the jeepney carrying relief goods were brought to the police station, including several residents who were supposed to receive the relief goods.
“We strongly condemn this harassment of groups and individuals who are only giving relief goods to our already hungry people affected by the lockdown,” Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said.
“We are demanding the immediate release of the volunteers, among them former Anakpawis Rep. Ariel ‘Ayik’ Casilao, who are unjustly held without any violation at Norzagaray police station. The police did not give any reason why they were apprehended and brought the relief volunteers to the station,” he added.
The party-list group said that the relief volunteers were allowed to leave the police station by noon after Casilao negotiated with Norzagaray police chief Lt. Col. Jaime Quicho, to turn over the relief goods to the beneficiaries.
“However, after a few minutes, the relief volunteers were called back to the police station. They are still being held without any offense or violation. Based on latest information, they were brought to the Bulacan Police Provincial Office in Malolos, Bulacan,” Bayan Muna said.
INQUIRER.net contacted the Bulacan Provincial Police Office but they have neither confirmed nor denied the incident.
As of Sunday afternoon, the entire Luzon is still under an enhanced community quarantine due to the rising COVID-19 cases. Department of Health (DOH) said that there are now 6,259 patients — 409 of which have died while at least 572 recovered from the disease.
Worldwide, over 2.33 million individuals have been infected, while 155,689 have died from the disease and 599,692 have recovered from it.
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