The arrival of world leaders in the country notwithstanding, the Rodrigo Duterte government continues committing human rights violations, a human rights group said.
Karapatan sounded the alarm on the alleged abduction and illegal arrest of a former priest and four others in Cebu, Mindoro and Eastern Samar last November 9, calling these government actions an “intensification of Duterte’s fascist and militarist policies.”
“Duterte sings when his imperialist masters ask him to sing, to the tune of curtailing people’s rights. Duterte himself does not care for people’s rights – a trait he shares with Trump and other leaders of imperialist countries,” Karapatan deputy secretary general Jigs Clamor said.
Rustico Tan, a former Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (MSC) priest, was arrested by combined Philippine National Police (PNP) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) team Thursday in Brgy. Palaminya, Oslob, Cebu.
Tan, now an organic and sustainable farming practitioner in Oslob was a National Democratic Front of the Philippines negotiator in its peace talks with the Corazon Aquino administration in 1986 to 1987.
Earlier, Tan’s farm workers Lopito Paquigbao and Eddie Cullamat were also arrested by the PNP-AFP team when they failed to find the former priest at his farm.
Karapatan said the PNP in Oslob relayed information that Tan, Paquigbao and Cullamat are in the custody of the AFP Central Command in Camp Lapu-Lapu, Cebu City.
The information has yet to be confirmed, however, and Karapatan has listed the three as “missing”.
On November 10, local peasant leader Carlito Badillo was arrested by elements of the 87th Infantry Battalion Philippine Army (IBPA) in front of a school in Tag-alag, Marabut, Eastern Samar.
Badillo, leader of Tag-alag Farmers and Fisherfolk Association, was dropping off his children at the school.
Badillo is currently under the custody of Marabut Municipal Police Station, facing charges of rebellion and illegal possession of explosives, Karapatan said.
Also on November 10, the 203rd Brigade of the Philippine Army arrested health worker Emelia Marquez, 29, at the Medical Mission Group Hospital in Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro.
Marquez was attending to her two-month old baby, who is critically ill, Karapatan said.
Magnaye was among the “Morong 43” health workers arrested and detained by the Philippine Army in Rizal Province in 2010.
Scores injured from violent police dispersal
Meanwhile, as many as 130 protesters were injured in the violent PNP dispersal of the rally protesting United States President Donald Trump’s visit to the Philippines Monday.
The PNP used truncheons, water cannons and a Long Range Acoustic Device in blocking thousands of protesters marching towards the 31st Association of South East Asian Nations Summit venue at the Philippine International Convention Center.
“Almost 130 anti-Trump protesters were injured during the rally of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) along Taft Avenue. Various groups decried the overkill security measures of the PNP and AFP to the ASEAN 2017 and Trump visit,” Bayan-National Capital Region secretary general Christian Yamzon said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)