Activists from Southern Tagalog slammed new Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Jesus Versoza for criminal charges filed against 27 of their colleagues.
Members of Bayan Muna-Southern Tagalog led a picket protest in front of Camp Crame. The group deemed that Versoza will ‘continue his predecessor’s record of human rights violations.’
Twenty-seven activists from the region were charged with arson, destruction of property and conspiracy to commit rebellion by Globe Telecommunications Corporation.
Bayani Cambronero, one of the accused and Bayan Muna regional coordinator, said, “Versoza assumes the position at this crucial point that Arroyo is utilizing the most fascist means to protect itself and stay in power. A vivid illustration of this is the growing number of trumped-up criminal charges filed against leaders, members and supporters of progressive organizations in Southern Tagalog.”
Doris Cuario, Karapatan (Alliance for the Advancement of Human Rights)-Southern Tagalog secretary general said that the ‘political persecution’ is part of the Arroyo regime’s counter-insurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya (Operation Freedom Watch).
“Globe Telecom is in cahoots with the PNP in filing these complaints but we believe it is still the PNP along with other agencies under the COC-IS [Cabinet Oversight Committee on Internal Security] who is dealing the cards here,” said Cuario.
The groups also called on the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to look into the matter.(Bulatlat.com)