MANILA — A meeting of officials of party-list groups Anakpawis, Bayan Muna, Gabriela, and Kabataan was raided by suspected elements of the military in Cagayan Valley region at past midnight Thursday.
Anakpawis reported that around 30 heavily armed men in camouflage uniforms forced their way in while 19 leaders of party-list groups were sleeping at the Masscoop Resort in Masitsit, Sanchezmira, Cagayan province.
The leaders were holding a regional consultation and planning-workshop
for the projects monitoring of the Regional Development Center-Katinnulong Daguiti Umili iti Amianan (RDC-KADUAMI), a development service institution.
“Some of them were wearing bonnets (ski masks),” said Isabelo Adviento, Anakpawis – Cagayan Valley regional coordinator.
The men took away three laptop computers, cellular phones, money and other personal belongings of those present in the meeting. The armed men fled after seizing the belongings.
“Three leaders, including one woman, were manhandled,” Adviento said.
The participants to the meeting were punched, pushed to the ground and hit by rifle butts.
In a statement, Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano said the raid “could be related to the military’s monitoring of activists against Mrs. Arroyo’s plan to convene Congress into a constituent assembly.”
Mariano called on the House committee on human rights to immediately conduct an investigation of the incident. (Bulatlat.com)