Bayan deplores latest attacks vs activists
A progressive group has called on the public to renounce the wave of human rights violations in the last 48 hours, which, it said, came in the wake of President Rodrigo Duterte’s “threats of crackdown against militants.”
In a statement issued on Monday, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) Secretary General Renato Reyes said they condemned “in the strongest terms” the latest attacks against activists.
“We condemn in the strongest terms the killing of Fr. Tito Paez, 72, an activist priest from Nueva Ecija and one of the founders of Bayan in Central Luzon,” Reyes said.
“He is the first Catholic priest to be killed under the Duterte regime. He was shot by unidentified men on Dec.4. Earlier in the day, he helped in the release of a political prisoner,” he added.
The militant leader likewise condemned the death of Pastor Noveliyo Quinones, who was reportedly killed last Sunday in Mindoro “when he passed a police operation against the New Peoples’ Army (NPA).”
“He was later made to appear as a member of the NPA even as his congregation attests otherwise,” he said.
The group also slammed the attempt to serve a warrant of arrest against George San Mateo, president of the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng nga Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (Piston), who is facing charges filed by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) in connection to the transport strikes his group conducted in February.
“We also condemn the attempt to serve a warrant of arrest against George San Mateo of Piston, who faces trumped up charges for allegedly violating the Commonwealth Act 146, a law that dates back to 1936,” he said. “The case is pure harassment and intimidation.”
These attacks, according to Reyes, came in the wake of Duterte’s threats of a crackdown of legal activists, and his slandering of mass organizations as mere “legal fronts” of the CPP (Communist Party of the Philippines).
Because of these, Renato said Bayan and other progressive groups are gearing up for a protest action on the International Human Rights Day on December 10. /kga
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