Press Statement, August 16, 2012 – Around 2PM this afternoon, human rights workers who attended the Karapatan 4th National Congress aboard a bus from Tagaytay City to Manila were arbitrarily stopped and held by the Philippine National Police (PNP)-Cavite along Tagaytay Road in Silang, in front of the PNP Academy.
Cristina Palabay, Karapatan’s newly-elected Secretary General, said, “This is sheer harassment. The four-man team were not able to show us any written order nor give a reason, valid or not, why they stopped us. They insisted they only received orders to stop us but had to ask their headquarters for the reason why. They were even armed with M16 rifles.”
While the police team was calling the headquarters through a handheld radio, Karapatan members said they heard a man’s voice at the other end saying ‘member ng Karapatan ang sakay d’yan!’ Bigyan ng feedback si ano,… CPDO at siya ang nagbigay ng instruction sa atin.”(Italicized text taken from video transcript.)
Palabay added that, “at one point in the negotiation, we heard another order again through the radio that said ‘…boarded are Karapatan members… investigate them and take pictures or video references’.“ (Italicized text taken from video transcript.)
The four policemen were with family names Sanchez, Alcaraz, Nolasco and Manalo.
Karapatan is set to file charges against the Cavite PNP for the incident. The 28 Karapatan members were held for 30 minutes. Ten minutes earlier, Karapatan members observed a mobile car of the Quezon City Police Department at Rowena’s, a bakeshop in the area. #
Reference: Cristina “Tinay” Palabay, Secretary General, +63917-5003879
Angge Santos, Media Liaison, +63918-9790580
Photos by Audrey Beltran
PUBLIC INFORMATION DESK
Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights
2nd Flr. Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin corner Matatag Sts., Central District
Diliman, Quezon City, PHILIPPINES 1101
Telefax: (+63 2) 4354146
KARAPATAN is an alliance of human rights organizations and programs, human rights desks and committees of people’s organizations, and individual advocates committed to the defense and promotion of people’s rights and civil liberties. It monitors and documents cases of human rights violations, assists and defends victims and conducts education, training and campaign.