Lawmaker urges police to cooperate or face Congressional probe

Cooperate in finding missing activists or face probe, warns lawmaker

/ 10:07 PM March 25, 2024

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ACT Teacher Partylist Rep. France Castro. INQUIRER PHOTO/LYN RILLON

MANILA, Philippines — ACT Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro has warned law enforcement agencies in Pangasinan to cooperate with the investigation on the alleged abduction of two environmentalists in San Carlos City or face a possible congressional probe.

Castro on Monday condemned the abduction of Eco Dangla and Axiee Tiong on Sunday night, claiming that it is another sign of repression against activist groups.


READ: 2 environmentalists allegedly abducted in Pangasinan


The lawmaker said Dangla was also the Pangasinan provincial coordinator of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) and the Koalisyong Makabayan, while Tiong is a volunteer of the Kabataan party-list.

Continuous repression

“ACT party-list strongly believes that this abduction is yet another manifestation of the continuous repression that our leaders, members, unionists, and activists endure under the Marcos Jr. regime like that of ACT Region VII Coordinator April Dyan Gumanao who was abducted with UP Cebu Lecturer Armand Dayoha but were able to escape,” Castro said.

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“We urgently demand the immediate release and safe return of Eco Dangla and Axielle Tiong. We call upon the abductors to surface them without any further delay,” she added.

Castro claimed the police have prevented the families of the missing activists from hearing the testimony of the tricycle driver who last saw Dangla and Tiong — leading the lawmaker to warn of a possible Congressional hearing.


Police prevented families

“But even early this morning the police have prevented the families of Dangla and Tiong to hear the full testimony of the tricycle driver who last saw the victims being abducted,” Castro, who also serves as the Deputy Minority leader, said.

“The Pangasinan police should fully cooperate and be transparent with the families and other investigators and work double time to retrieve Dangla and Tiong or Congress would look into the matter itself,” she added.

This is not the first alleged abduction or arrest that Castro and the Makabayan bloc spoke about, which was eventually investigated by the House of Representatives. Last February, the Makabayan lawmakers filed House Resolution No. 1596, asking that the warrantless arrest of filmmaker Jade Castro be investigated.

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Then, the House committee on public order and safety launched an investigation, where other lawmakers expressed belief that Castro’s arrest was illegal.

TAGS: ACT Teachers, congressional inquiries, France Castro, missing activists, Pangasinan, police abuses

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