Migrante International condemns in strongest terms the harassment and violation of privacy of Grace Gamalinda, Migrante-Davao Education Officer, by suspected military agents.
Last July 20, around 8:00pm, Gamalinda went home with her daughter, Arianne, to discover that their house had been ransacked. Upon closer inspection, Gamalinda and her daughter found nothing missing and all their valuables still intact. Fearing for their safety, they immediately filed a police blotter at their barangay.
Gamalinda has every reason to fear for her and her Arianne’s life. Just before the incident, 15 leaders from different activist and progressive organizations in Southern Mindanao have been charged with trumped-up cases of kidnapping, serious illegal detention and violations of Anti-Trafficking Act. Among those charged are human rights defenders, pastors and religious workers and activist leaders.
The charges were filed by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group of the Philippine National Police, Philippine National Police-alabel, elements of the 73rd IBPA and their assets in local government and in the community following the launching of a massive campaign against the recent spate of killings, torture and forcible evacuation of indigenous peoples in the region due to military operations by the 10th Infantry Division and 73rd Infantry Battalion of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Mindanao.
Grace and Arianne’s names were mentioned in the annexes in the trumped-up charges.
According to Sol Pillas, Migrante International secretary-general, said that should anything untoward happen to Gamalinda or her daughter, they will hold the AFP and the Aquino administration directly accountable.
“We condemn in strongest terms the harassment, repression and orchestrated attacks on the rights and civil liberties of political activists and mass organizations. We believe that the recent spate of harassments, warrantless arrests, filing of trumped-up charges, baseless red-baiting and surveillance being conducted by the AFP and other state agents are all part of a coordinated attack on the democratic mass movement. There is an undeclared martial law happening and it is being perpetrated by the state,” said Pillas.
“If Aquino and the AFP think that these harassments will cause a chilling effect on human rights defenders and political activists, it is dead wrong. We are more resolved than ever to hold Aquino accountable for all his crimes against the Filipino people. Big rallies and protest actions are set on Aquino’s last SONA (State of the Nation Address) nationwide and around the world on July 27.” ###