Joel Amonte, 56, and his wife, Gloria Pritargue Almonte, 52 , were forcibly taken from an apartment in Valenzuela City.
By RONALYN V. OLEA
MANILA – An ailing activist and his wife were arrested by state agents, at around 7 p.m. January 9.
Joel Amonte, 56, and his wife, Gloria Pritargue Almonte, 52 , were forcibly taken from an apartment in Valenzuela City. According to their daughter, the couple was handcuffed and then forced into a vehicle. The arresting team is believed to be elements of the Philippine National Police-Intelligence Group. The daughter was told to just visit her parents at Camp Crame.
Joel is a known organizer of fisherfolk in Laguna province. According to Karapatan-Southern Tagalog, Joel is being treated for diabetes. The couple left their home in Pagsanjan, Laguna to seek medical treatment for Joel.
Glendhyl Malabanan, Karapatan-Southern Tagalog secretary general, condemned the arrest. “After the killing of Marcelo Monterona of Indug Kautawan, a vocal critic of destructive mining in Maco, Compostela Valley, here is another human rights violation under the Aquino administration. Clearly, this is a case of illegal arrest.”
ALmonte’s daughter also appealed to authorities to release her parents. Joel has difficulty walking because of complications to diabetes.
Karapatan-Southern Tagalog said the Almonte couple must be released immediately based on humanitarian grounds.
Malabanan added the recent arrest is another threat to peace talks.