John Milton Lozande, secretary general of National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW), was freed Nov. 11. Anne Krueger of alternative media Paghimutad and organizer of BPO Industry Employees Network Philippines (BIEN) and Danilo Tabura, NFSW paralegal officer, walked out of jail yesterday, Nov. 12 while Roberto Lachica, NFSW staff, was released this afternoon.
Executive Order no. 70 “gives state enforcement agents exceptional powers at the expense of basic human rights and civil liberties.”
“If there would be no conviction, I’m sorry to say press freedom is dead.”
“If all the search warrants issued by Judge Burgos-Villavert from No. 5944 to No. 5953 are offices and homes of members of people’s and human rights organizations, then we are looking at more raids in the coming hours or days.”
“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.”
“The ultimate objective of EO 70 is a national crackdown. Duterte wants to wipe out the opposition, legal and armed. Wala ng pag-iiba diyan. (No distinction anymore)”
“The use of search warrants have become a trend increasingly used in Negros, which makes offices and individuals vulnerable to the planting of evidence.”
Gabriela condemned the arrest and called for the immediate release of Agovida and Bartolome.
“The NBP is a prison facility, not a cemetery.”
Neri Colmenares, NUPL chairperson, believes that the case against Duterte is strong. “First, he publicly ordered the killings… Second, he refuses to be investigated. Third, the government does not submit evidence to the ICC.”
While victims of human rights abuses won the class suit in the US Federal court in Hawaii against the Marcoses and received compensation, the Marcoses have not been punished for their crimes.