The chapter of GABRIELA in Negros condemned the ‘unlawful arrest’ of Mary Grace Delicano.
Delicano, 34, was arrested Sept. 25, around 3 p.m. by elements of Negros Occidental Provincial Police Office (NOPPO) and the intelligence unit of the 303rd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army. She was at a waiting shed of the Bacolod Public Plaza along Gatuslao Street when she was nabbed.
Based on a fact sheet sent by GABRIELA, Delicano was arrested on the basis of standing warrant of arrest issued against a certain “alias Kim” who was implicated in robbery in band charges in Escalante City sometime in 2006. Delicano has denied she was the person referred to in the arrest warrant.
GABRIELA said no warrant was presented during the time of the arrest. According to the group, Delicano was brought to the Police Station 1 of the Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) were her bags were searched without her consent. The arresting operatives refuse to allow her to communicate with her family and her lawyer, said the group.
Nenita Cherniguin, acting chairperson of GABRIELA Negros chapter said, “The unlawful arrest of Ms. Delicano illustrates the continuing persecution of political activists in the country and the systemic and vicious assaults on legitimate people’s organizations. “
She added, “The police and army operatives have to construct lies and fabricated stories against Ms. Delicano to justify the unlawful arrest and the continuing detention. We expect them to produce more professional witness against Ms. Delicano for more trumped-up charges. “
Delicano was also accused as the finance officer of the Komiteng Rehiyunal-Negros (Regional Committee-Negros) of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and married to Armando Sumayang “alias Joas” who was the alleged head of the New People’s Army (NPA) operating in southern Negros.
GABRIELA also criticized S/Supt. Rosendo Franco for preventing their leaders to visit Delicano at the Camp Alfredo Montelibano Sr., the NOPPO headquarter.
The group said Delicano is added to more than 20 political activists detained in various jails in Negros Island. Cherniguin said, “In Guihulngan City, Emilia and Maricris Quirante were jailed on trumped-charges of rebellion while Lourdes Baloy, Josephine Saguran, Eppie Assentista and Vimarie Arcilla face charges in court. “
Cherniguin maintained, “It is deplorable that women’s participation in the just and legitimate struggle to uplift the lives of the people is answered by vilification campaign and suppression by the Philippine Army. “
The group has demanded the unconditional release of Delicano. (Bulatlat)