Jail Albayalde, “ninja” cops, not activists – fisherfolk
Manila, Philippines – “While former Police Chief Oscar Albayalde enjoys the benefits of a freeman despite of his involvement into recycling of illegal drugs, social and human rights activists, on the other hand, are languishing in jails over trumped up charges. We have social injustice right in our faces when it should be Albayalde and his ninja cops who should be facing the full force of the law,” According to the militant fishers group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) on Tuesday, lambasting the nationwide crackdown against activists and progressive organizations.
Simultaneous raids were conducted by combined elements of police and military on progressive organizations’ offices that led to the arrests of 56 activists in Bacolod City, on hallows’ eve. Earlier that day, a convener for the independent Manila Bay rehabilitation watchdog Manila Bay Watch, Cora Agovida, along with her husband, was arrested at her house in Paco, Manila.
The Manila Bay Watch, a broad alliance composed of various organizations from fisherfolk, urban poor, students, academes, environmentalists, and church people, earlier condemned the arrest and the charges against Agovida as “baseless and fabricated”.
In a statement, PAMALAKAYA said the Duterte government “is so desperate to quell revolutionary unrest against social cancers and economic crises, that even members of legal and democratic organizations who work within the bounds of the law, are not spared from dubious arrests, surveillance and harassments, other forms of human rights violations, and worse, outright extra-judicial killing,”
“We want to remind President Duterte and his fascist instruments that mass arrest, blitz of accredited headquarters, and full-blown crackdown on activists will not dismay the people from waging mass campaigns in pursuit of social, economic, and political reforms, instead, it will only intensify until the freedom and democracy are restored in the country,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said in a statement issued to media outfits.
“The PNP has fast-forgotten that its former chief and even those who are still in active service are tainted with corruption and anomalies. Thus, cleansing should be conducted within their ranks starting from the high-ranking generals down to the lowest unit. A corrupt police institution has no moral ascendancy to pursue peace and order, when it is actually the scourge of anarchy and lawlessness in the country,” ended Hicap. ###