Rights group Hustisya on Sunday called for the immediate release of two University of the Philippines Pampanga students, who were abducted Saturday afternoon in a Nueva Ecija town and were later found at the Philippine National Police Provincial (PNP) Public Safety Company Headquarters in Cabanatuan City.
“The PNP should be accountable for their illegal arrest and detention. We demand for their immediate release,” said Cristina Guevarra, Hustisya secretary general.
Gerald Salonga and Guiller Cadano, who both studied in UP Diliman Extension Program in Pampanga, were reportedly taken by unidentified men in two vehicles in the afternoon of August 9.
“Style na bulok na ito ng PNP at AFP. Mandurukot sila ng mga aktibista. Pagkapos nilang magtanim ng ebidensya, saka sila magsasampa ng kitang-kita naman na gawa-gawang kaso laban sa mga inaresto” (This is a rotten tactic of the PNP and AFP. They will abduct activists. After they have planted evidence, then they will file obviously trumped-up charges against those arrested), said Guevarra.
Guevarra said the PNP should be condemned for its “rotten tactics” of filing trumped-up charges against activists, which resulted to the arrest and detention of more than 200 political prisoners under the Aquino government. There are currently 499 political prisoners under Pres. Aquino.
According to initial reports gathered by Karapatan Central Luzon, the two will be charged with illegal possession of firearms.
The group hit the Aquino government for continuing illegal arrests and filing of trumped-up charges against activists, including youth and students, while it has not arrested Jovito Palparan, who abducted missing UP students Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan.
“The Aquino government has never rendered justice for the victims of human rights violators in the past. Pres. Aquino is equally accountable now for human rights violations committed under his watch. Ang hulihin nyo si Palparan, hindi itong mga kabataan! (You should arrest Palparan and not these youth activists!),” said Guevarra.
Hustisya secretary general
Hustisya National Office
2/F #1 Maaralin corner Matatag Streets
Central District, Diliman
Quezon City 1100 Philippines
Telephone: (02) 434-7486 | (02) 435-4146