Right to water activist arrested, accused with illegal gun possession
The wave of search warrants served in the dead of night that lead to charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives victimized another activist, this time a government employee based in San Pablo City, Laguna.
Ramir Endriga Corcolon, an officer of the Confederation for the Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE) and an employee of a local water utility, was arrested by the police at 4:30 AM this morning.
Corcolon, a campaigner against the privatization of water services, is a COURAGE national council member and secretary general of the Water System Employees Response (WATER).
The federation of government employees unions said in an alert that Corcolon’s house was raided and searched by Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) operatives.
Corcolon was taken to Camp Vicente Lim in Canlubang town at 8:30 AM.
A search warrant alleging the activist possessed a rifle grenade was issued last February 23 by Sta. Cruz, Laguna Executive Judge Divinagracia Bustos-Ongkeko.
Pictures posted by COURAGE on its Facebook page show that a handgun and ammunitions were also allegedly found in Corcolon’s house.
Dozens of activists had been issued similar warrants and charged with violation of Republic Act 9516, the anti-illegal possession of firearms and explosives law, in a sustained crackdown against Leftist critics of the Rodrigo Duterte government.
COURAGE demanded the immediate release of Corcolon and condemned what it calls the terror-tagging of activists.
“Corcolon is an employee that vehemently opposes the privatization of water districts. He also stands for the advancement of the rights of employees and the people,” COURAGE said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)