MANILA — Elements of the Philippine National Police raided the office of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Manila at Flora Street corner Clemente Street in Tondo, Manila at around 1 a.m. today, according to an alert from human rights group Karapatan.
Arrested were Ram Carlo Bautista, Bayan Manila campaign Director; Alma Moran, member of the secretariat of Manila Workers Unity; and Ina Nacino, Kadamay Manila coordinator.
Executive Judge Cecilyn Burgos-Villavert of Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 89 issued the search warrant. She was also the judge who issued the search warrants for the raids in Bacolod City, Escalante City and Manila that led to the arrest of 59 activists.
Karapatan condemned what it called as “yet again another Gestapo-like raid of an office of a legal organization.”
On Oct. 31, three offices of the progressive groups were raided in Bacolod City and the residence of Bayan Muna regional coordinator Romulo Bito-on. On the same day, elements of the Manila Police District raided the house of Gabriela Metro Manila Spokesperson Cora Agovida. Fifty-seven activists were arrested that day, all of them charged with illegal possession of firearms and explosives.
In a statement, Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general, said, “The narrative that there are guns and bombs in the said office, as what the government has peddled in the raids of offices in Negros, is preposterous and a barefaced lie meant to justify these patently arbitrary arrests and to silence social justice workers and activists.” (By Ronalyn V. Olea/Bulatlat)