Joel Amonte, 56, and his wife, Gloria Pritargue Almonte, 52 , were forcibly taken from an apartment in Valenzuela City.
By RONALYN V. OLEA
MANILA – An ailing activist and his wife were arrested by state agents, at around 7 p.m. January 9.
Joel Amonte, 56, and his wife, Gloria Pritargue Almonte, 52 , were forcibly taken from an apartment in Valenzuela City. According to their daughter, the couple was handcuffed and then forced into a vehicle. The arresting team is believed to be elements of the Philippine National Police-Intelligence Group. The daughter was told to just visit her parents at Camp Crame.
Joel is a known organizer of fisherfolk in Laguna province. According to Karapatan-Southern Tagalog, Joel is being treated for diabetes. The couple left their home in Pagsanjan, Laguna to seek medical treatment for Joel.
Glendhyl Malabanan, Karapatan-Southern Tagalog secretary general, condemned the arrest. “After the killing of Marcelo Monterona of Indug Kautawan, a vocal critic of destructive mining in Maco, Compostela Valley, here is another human rights violation under the Aquino administration. Clearly, this is a case of illegal arrest.”
ALmonte’s daughter also appealed to authorities to release her parents. Joel has difficulty walking because of complications to diabetes.
Karapatan-Southern Tagalog said the Almonte couple must be released immediately based on humanitarian grounds.
Malabanan added the recent arrest is another threat to peace talks.
As of press time, the couple is detained at Camp Vicente Lim ang Quick Reaction Team (QRT) in Canlubang, Laguna.