Robredo denounces arrest of over 90 farmers, advocates in Tarlac
MANILA, Philippines — Outgoing Vice President Leni Robredo has decried the mass arrest of over 90 agrarian reform beneficiaries and land reform advocates at Hacienda Tinang in Concepcion, Tarlac province.
“Ilang bagay ang malinaw: Mapayapa ang naganap na pagtitipon. Walang ibang layunin ang mga magsasaka kundi ang magbigay ng maayos na pamumuhay sa kanilang mga pamilya. Pumunta roon ang kanilang mga tagasuporta upang makiisa at tumulong,” she said in a statement issued Saturday.
(Several things are clear here: the gathering was done peacefully. The farmers had no other intentions but to provide for their families. Their supporters were there to join and help them.)
Robredo also amplified the call to properly resolve the issue without neglecting the rights of the arrested individuals.
“Umaasa kaming igagalang ang kanilang karapatang pantao, itatrato sila bilang kapwa-Pilipinong may dignidad, at magkakaroon ng makatarungang resolusyon ang insidenteng ito sa lalong madaling panahon,” she stressed.
(We expect that their rights will be respected, that they will be treated as fellow Filipinos with dignity, and that there will be a just resolution to this incident as soon as possible.)
Various groups and advocates have likewise denounced the mass arrest, saying that the incident was a form of “harassment and intimidation” by police authorities.
Jobert Pahilga, a lawyer defending the respondents, on Friday confirmed that criminal charges have been filed against 83 of the arrested farmers and advocates.
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