Anakpawis nominee arrested in Nueva Vizcaya

A farmer leader and party list nominee has been arrested in Nueva Vizcaya Friday night, a regional organization announced in an urgent alert.

Anakpawis Party 4th nominee and Cagayan Valley coordinator Isabelo Adviento was arrested while having dinner at fast food chain Jollibee’s Bayombong Branch at 8PM on April 8, Taripnong Cagayan Valley said.

The group did not identify who arrested Adviento.

A repeated victim of red-tagging, Adviento’s house was raided by the Philippine National Police in Baggao, Cagayan on December 2, 2020 in a failed attempt to arrest the peasant leader.

Adviento is also the chairperson of Danggayan iti Mannalon iti Cagayan Valley, the local chapter of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP).

He was charged with illegal possession of firearms and explosives, the usual allegation against activists and critics of the Rodrigo Duterte government.

Adviento’s organizations said the police planted guns and explosives in his house in December 2020 and pointed out that no search or arrest warrant was presented during the raid.

The peasant leader was then leading a relief mission for survivors of Typhoon Ulysses elsewhere in the region at the time of the raid.

In a statement following the incident, Adviento asked the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and the Department of Justice to “investigate and junk the trumped-up charges filed against innocent farmers” like himself.

“We also ask the help of the CHR, church institutions, and local officials to assist those who are being persecuted,” he added.

The KMP blamed the government’s anti-insurgency group National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) for the “relentless persecution” of its regional leader.

“For several years now, Adviento has been subjected to non-stop intimidation by state forces. The harassment against him and other Cagayan Valley-based activists and peasant leaders intensified under the Duterte administration,” KMP chairperson Danilo Ramos said.

Adviento himself denied NTF-ELCAC’s allegations that he is a terrorist.

“I am not a terrorist because terrorists hurt, kill, oppress, threaten, steal from people, and are criminals. I have not done these things or broke the law,” he said in November 2021,

He also denied being a recruiter for the New People’s Army, saying the tarpaulins bearing his face and holding a gun were manipulated images.

The peasant leader said all he did was help farmers campaign to lower the interest, demand production assistance during calamities, and call for higher farm gate prices for their products. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

Barangay chairperson halts relief distribution in Isabela, insists on taking over

An Ilagan City barangay chairperson prevented relief delivery to flood victims in her community and ordered the confiscation of food items for distribution last Thursday, November 19, a regional farmers group reported.

Hacienda Sta. Isabel Norte chairperson Leonora Uy allegedly ordered a stop to the humanitarian activity for hundreds of farmers in her barangay after allowing photos to be taken of only a few residents receiving food items, the group Danggayan iti Mannalon ti Cagayan Valley (Danggayan) said on its Facebook page.

Danggayan said it properly coordinated with Uy on the relief activity who in turn suggested it be held at the barangay covered court “in order for the facility to be of some use.”

Relief goods being readied for distribution but were ordered confiscated by a local executive. (Danggayan photo)

The barangay executive also wanted that all residents should be recipients of the activity, prompting the relief workers to divide each pack into two to benefit twice as many families and accommodate Uy’s wishes.

But the chairperson ordered the relief items to be confiscated after photos have been taken of 10 beneficiaries receiving them, the farmers group said.

Photo ops lang pala ang pinayagan,” Danggayan said in a statement. (She only allowed the photo opportunity, it turns out.)

Uy reportedly said the barangay would re-pack the relief goods and take over the distribution.

Danggayan said the farmers disagreed, sure that many would later be denied the relief items.

“Ayon sa kapitan, kung hindi daw i-turn over sa kanya ang ayudang pagkain ay i-pull out na lang ito dahil hindi naman daw siya humiling ng ayudang pagkain. Pati ang mineral water ay ayaw siyang pumayag na ipamigay sa mga residente,” Danggayan reported. (According to Uy, the relief food items should be pulled out if these would not be turned over to them as she did not ask for them in the first place. She even refused to have drinking water distributed to the residents.)

The local executive even refused the distribution of drinking water to flood victims. (Danggayan photo)

The group said Uy’s decision angered residents and decided to continue the distribution at the house of farmer-leaders.

Two barangay councilors reportedly disagreed with Uy’s decision and helped in the distribution.

The relief items, worth PhP200,000 were donated by local groups Dagami, Tulong Kabataan, Tulong Sulong CV, Cagayan Valley Disaster Response Center Inc. and others. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

(Efforts to seek Uy’s comment failed as her supporters refuse to give the executive’s contact details. Kodao is still seeking ways to talk to Uy.)