Duterte regime’s crackdown intensifies with arrest of activists in Mindanao

The crackdown against activists and progressives have further emboldened the country’s police and military forces with the recent arrest of activists in General Santos, South Cotabato and Pangantucan, Bukidnon in Mindanao.

Thirteen Church workers and activists have been arrested in a raid by the Philippine National Police during a program consultation of volunteers and partners of Iglesia Filipina Independiente Visayas-Mindanao Regional Office for Development (IFI-VIMROD). The group and its volunteers tackled the plight of farmers and national minorities while conducting a project assessment as part of the turnover of the IFI-VIMROD Integrated Development Program regarding farmers and Lumad issues to the IFI Diocese of Libertad.

In a statement, Ryan Amper of Barug Katungod Mindanao said that the arrested individuals were charged with ludicrous case of obstruction of justice. They are detained at Police Station 1 along Pendatun Avenue, Barangay North, General Santos City while the arrested women are in the custody of Police Station 4 along Nuñez Street, Barangay City Heights, General Santos City in South Cotabato, while awaiting the inquest proceedings tomorrow, July 6.

Photo from KARAPATAN

The following were arrested and brought to the Camp Fermin Lira police station headquarters: Aldeem Yanez (Iglesia Filipina Independiente), Jomorito Guaynon (Kalumbay), Ireneo Udarbe (Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas), Vennel Chenfoo (Kabataan Partylist), Kristine Cabardo (league of filipino students), Roger Plana (Vimrod volunteer), Teresita Naul (Karapatan), and other companions including the seminar house security guard and staff.

Meanwhile, a statement by the Northern Mindanao Region chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, said that six women members from the Organisasyon sa Yanong Obrerong Nagkahiusa in Pangantucan, Bukidnon were also arrested on the same day. The women activists were staunch critics of Duterte’s endorsement of plantations that have continuously displaced farmers from their lands.

It is clear that fascism is Duterte’s response to the people’s rising rage against his tyrannical regime. The martial law rule in Mindanao further legitimized the attacks against individuals forwarding the democratic interest of various oppressed sectors.

The College Editors Guild of the Philippines vehemently condemns the continuous attacks on activists and progressives which have already resulted to a rising number of unlawful arrests and killings. Especially now under a defacto martial law, the Duterte regime will continue to sow fear to halt the resistance of human rights activists and peace advocates.

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