Farmer-couple nabbed, held by soldiers in ComVal
TAGUM CITY, Davao del Norte – A farmer-couple was allegedly arrested and held by soldiers in Laak town, Compostela Valley on Monday.
Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary-general, said Kidjol Marcelo Antay Sr. and wife Noeme were “illegally arrested by combined elements of the Army’s 60th Infantry Battalion and the anti-communist Bagani militia in Barangay Andap around 2 p.m.
Quoting an advisory from Karapatan Southern Mindanao, Palabay said the couple was brought to the 60th IB headquarters in Dona Andrea village, in Asuncion town, Davao del Norte.
The military has yet to issue a statement on the allegation.
Calls and text messages to the number of Major Michael Candole, 60th IB executive officer, went unanswered.
The Antays, according to Palabay, are members of the Nagkahiusang Mag-uuma sa Laak (United Farmers of Laak).
Last March, three members of the militant farmers’ group were murdered by unidentified assailants in Laak.
Karapatan had blamed the military for the killings, a charge it vehemently denied.
Palabay could not say if the Antays have been released, and that the rights group was waiting for updates from their kin, as of Wednesday.
The latest arrests came amid calls by progressive groups and other sectors for President Duterte to lift the imposition of martial law in Mindanao, citing fears of abuses by security forces against civilians. SFM
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