State illegally arrests doctor, 2 young activists and 3 farmers

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This article is available in PilipinoBisaya

Soldiers and police illegally arrested a doctor, two young activists and three farmers in the past few days.

In February 8, police arrested Dra. Ma. Natividad Castro at her sibling’s residence in San Juan City. Dra. Castro was among the health workers who assisted in establishing community health centers and health programs in the Caraga region in Mindanao. She also served as the general secretary of Karapatan-Caraga for many years.

She was slapped with trumped up charges of kidnapping and illegal detention and implicated in the raid by the New People’s Army in Sibagat, Agusan del Sur in December 29, 2018. Her arrest is part of the relentless attacks against Lumad and rights defenders in Mindanao which aims to intimidate people in the island and create the illusion that it is the Duterte family’s turf.

Bicol. Police arrested Allen Omanad, a student from the Catanduanes State University in Viga, Catanduanes last February 13 after planting a .38 caliber pistol and ammunition inside his home. According to Omanad’s parents, three men broke into their residence and planted a pistol just minutes before the police arresting team arrived. Omanad chased the burglars but failed to catch them.

Last January 21, the 31st IB arrested Nora Garote, a resident and village councilor of Barangay Sta. Lourdes, Barcelona, Sorsogon. In Legazpi, Albay, Maricel Morilla was arrested on January 20 and was implicated in the ambush by the people’s army against elements of the 31st IB in Barangay Banquerohan in 2020.

Anakpawis Partylist municipal coordinator Edwin Romero and a member of Kabataan Partylist experienced harassment while waiting at Alice Bridge in Sorsogon City. Meanwhile in Masbate last February 8, the police and the 96th IB abducted and killed civilian Richard Mendoza, a resident of Esperanza, and presented him as an NPA member killed in an encounter.

Negros Occidental. Harlyn Balora, a member of Anakbayan Negros was illegally arrested on February 19 in Sitio Montara, Barangay Camang Camang, Isabela where he resides. A 500-strong police and military force also searched houses in in the area. Balora is currently detained at the Isabela Police Station.

Meanwhile, soldiers threatened, harassed and interrogated residents of Barangay Bi-ao, Binalbagan after Red fighters dealt a blow against the police on February 13. The soldiers broke into a private home and destroyed a parked motorcycle. A 15-year old boy was hit when police fired their guns in panic while fleeing from an ambush by the Red army.

Rizal. Guards of the JMV Security Services opened fire at the residents in Sityo Avatex, Barangay San Jose, Rodriguez, Rizal in the morning of February 16, severely wounding a resident.

These guards were used to evict residents from the 148-hectare property land grabbed by the JVH Real Property and Leasing.

State illegally arrests doctor, 2 young activists and 3 farmers