Peasant network to CHR, gov’t: Free ‘Mansalay 2’, political prisoners | Inquirer News

Peasant network to CHR, gov’t: Free ‘Mansalay 2’, political prisoners

/ 05:11 PM June 06, 2023

Peasant network to CHR, gov’t: Free ‘Mansalay 2’, political prisoners FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Kin and colleagues of detained peasant advocates Mary Joyce Lizada and Arnulfo “Ompong” Aumentado, alongside peasant and human rights supporters, gathered at the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Tuesday to demand the release of the “Mansalay 2.”

Lizada and Aumentado have been detained in Camp Capinpin in Tanay, Rizal, for over a month “without any clear charges” unbeknownst to their family nor their legal counsel, according to a Tuesday statement from peasant human rights network Tanggol Magsasaka.


The network maintained that the two peasant leaders were nabbed on April 25 in Mansalay, Oriental Mindoro, as they documented human rights violations in peasant and indigenous communities hit by gunfire and bombings.


On May 3, the Philippine Army tagged the two activists as captured leaders of the New Peoples’ Army, a claim which Tanggol Magsasaka maintains there are “no clear cases” to prove.

“We express grave concerns over the series of arrests and terrorist-tagging of indigenous peoples and peasant advocates who chose to serve the marginalized. We call for the full respect of their rights, including the strict observance of their right to due process. If there are no clear cases against Lizada and Aumentado, they should be released without conditionalities,” said the network.

“We lament that Lizada and Aumentado will add to the growing number of political prisoners incarcerated by the regime. We demand their immediate release,” Tanggol Magsasaka added.

Human rights group Karapatan reported that, as of March 31, there are 169 political prisoners in the Philippines, 40 of whom were arrested under President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s term. Karapatan also noted that 90 of these prisoners are sickly and that 72 are elderly citizens.


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TAGS: arrest, Human rights, peasant, prisoners

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