By DEE AYROSO
Police arrested a leader of a fisherfolk group in Albay, Bicol region this morning, May 30, as a result of yet another serving of a search warrant.
Elwin Mangampo, 42, was arrested at his home in barangay 1, Pio Duran, Albay at 10 a.m., shortly after he came in from early morning fishing. Mangampo is the chairperson of Lakas ng Mangingisda sa Bicol (LAMBAT), and also an elected barangay kagawad (village councilor).
In an alert posted in social media, Karapatan Bikol said members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) arrived at his home at 3 a.m. to serve a search warrant issued by an Albay regional trial court. But they only found his wife at home, Mangampo having already gone out to fish.
The police waited at the beach until Mangampo arrived at around 9 a.m., then counducted the search. Police claimed to have found a .45 caliber pistol, magazine, a hand grenade, and subsequently arrested Mangampo. He is detained at the PNP Ligao City in Albay.
The national fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) called for Mangampo’s release, as they denounced the arrest as based on “planted evidence and fabricated charges.”
Pamalakaya said that amid the pandemic, Mangampo has led campaigns and dialogues to push for expanded government aid for small fishers. Their group has been campaigning for a P15,000 production support for fisherfolk, as relief assistance from the pandemic and the recent typhoons that affected coastal communities.
“Ka Elwin is also set to join the consultation meeting to draft the Fisheries Electoral Agenda that Pamalakaya will submit to 1Sambayan this June,” said the group.
Karapatan-Bikol said Mangampo has been redtagged and harrassed in his town in Pio Duran.
Also this month, on May 2, two other activists were arrested in Bicol, as police swooped in on their homes in simultaneous dawn raids: Pastor Dan Belucio of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN-Bicol) and youth leader Sasah Sta. Rosa of Jovenes Anakbayan.