4 women activists arrested in Nueva Ecija, tagged as rebels

Original post: Oct. 15, 2018, 10:58 a.m.
Updated Oct. 16, 2018, 4:28 p.m.

Bayan-GL condemned the arrest, “targeting members of organizations actively pursuing the call for genuine land reform and national industrialization.”


MANILA — A day after the defense chief dismissed the “Red October plot,” four women activists were arrested by military and police in Nueva Ecija.

Peasant advocates Yolanda Diamsay Ortiz, Eulalia Ladesma, Edzel Emocling and Rachel Galario were arrested by operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), Philippine National Police and elements of the 7th Infantry Division in Sitio Bangkusay, Brgy. Talabutab Norte, Natividad, Nueva Ecija on October 13, 2018. According to human rights alliance Karapatan, the four are confirmed to be in the custody of the CIDG in its office at the Old Capitol building at Cabanatuan City.

Ortiz is a member of Anakpawis Partylist while Ladesma is a member of Gabriela Women’s Pary. Emocling was a former member of the League of Filipino Students (LFS) in the Polytechnic University of the Philippines.

Karapatan paralegals were denied access to the political prisoners but relatives were able to visit on Oct. 14. Ladesma’s daughter said her mother was taken by her hair and was forced to drop to the ground when the CIDG operatives found her. While on the ground, Ladesma was kicked several times and her hands tied thereafter. Ladesma’s daughter said that Ortiz’s left eye was swollen and there are hand marks on her neck.

An Inquirer.net article reported that the 7th Infantry Division of the Armed Forces of the Philippines claimed that the four were rebels “conducting recruitment” in Sitio 32, Barangay Agbannawag. The military said further that they allegedly seized from them “a 9mm sub-machine gun, ammunition, four hand grenades, improvised exploding devices, a laptop, 10 mobile telephone phones, and a printer.”

Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay belied this, saying, “We have no doubt the spin doctors in the military will use this opportunity to forward their deluded narrative, even at the expense of torturing women!”

“The point is crystal clear: Our military and police force have no credibility and they are the number one violator of human rights in the country,” Palabay said. “However, we remind them of a once seemingly invincible general named Jovito Palparan who is now convicted. Along with the victims and their relatives, we will pursue justice and see to it that perpetrators will be sent to jail.”

Bayan-GL condemned the arrest, “targeting members of organizations actively pursuing the call for genuine land reform and national industrialization.”

“This is not an isolated case. The Duterte administration’s US-military backed counter-insurgency program Oplan Kapayapaan has been targeting peasant, labor organizers, and youth activists in its massive crackdown campaign to lay down conditions for nationwide Martial Law,” said LFS in a statement.

Defense Chief Delfin Lorenzana on October 12 told the media that the Red October plot by Communist rebels was neutralized. Youth groups from 18 universities tagged as communist recruitment hubs staged a protest action in Mendiola to condemn the military’s red-tagging.

Karapatan is calling for the immediate release of the four women. (https://www.bulatlat.com)

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