TAGUM CITY—An environmental organization reported that one of their members is arrested by soldiers in Pantukan town, Compostela Valley province Monday, September 19 while he was hanging posters about the upcoming peace forum in the town proper.
Panalipdan (Defend) in Southern Mindanao denounced in the strongest terms in what they branded an “illegal arrest” of an anti-mining youth advocate in Pantukan town, Compostela Valley.
The group said soldiers based in Compostela Valley province arrested John Claudio Maniquez, 21, a resident of Sitio Sirangan, Barangay Kingking, Pantukan on Monday evening, September 19.
Maniquez is a member of youth environmental advocacy group Panalipdan Youth-Pantukan. Based on the group’s initial report, he was arrested by the state security forces after he was caught hanging posters about a peace forum that will be conducted in the town proper.
“John along with two other youth from the same village were putting up posters to invite community members to attend a forum on the peace talks. They were being followed by soldiers while they were putting up the posters,” said Jezel Requizo, chairperson of Panalipdan Youth-Pantukan, in a statement on Tuesday, September 20.
He said Maniquez is detained at the Pantukan municipal police station.
Maniquez, according to Requizo, is “facing trumped-up charges of illegal possession of firearms and is accused of being an NPA member.”
“Two of his companions are still missing,” Requizo added.
Panalipdan Youth-Pantukan is active in opposing the large-scale mining project of Villar-owned Nadecor and St. Augustine Copper & Gold Ltd. in Barangay Kingking. (davaotoday.com)