Bayan Muna hits army for illegal arrest of activist

May. 08, 2007

ORMOC CITY, Philippines Bayan Muna Rep. Teodoro Casio continues to accompany a regional leader of the Anakpawis party-list group illegally arrested by the military in Ormoc City, Leyte Monday night.

We are contesting the illegal arrest of Anakpawis Regional Campaign Officer Vincent Bebot Borja. Members of the Armys 19th Infantry Battalion showed a defective warrant that had the name of another person when they suddenly entered and held us at past 9:00 p.m. Monday as we were having a campaign staff meeting in Barangay Linao, Casio said.

Borja, also a National Council member of the National Federation of Labor Unions (NAFLU-KMU), resisted the illegal arrest when the soldiers showed him the defective warrant for a murder charge.

The soldiers showed a warrant for murder with a different name. They even disarmed one of our security aides despite his COMELEC permit. Due to the soldiers’ insistence to take Borja, we went with them to Camp Downes in this city. It turns out that Lt. Col. Lope Dagoy 19th IB commanding officer, arrogantly insisted that he wanted to illegally detain Borja at the camp and presented another warrant for a different charge of destruction of property of which Borja is out on bail since 2001, Casio said.

Casio also criticized Lieutenant Colonel Ernesto Torres Jr., public affairs officer of the Philippine Army, for perpetrating lies on the event and of Borja.

Torres told media reporters at the Fort Bonifacio in Manila that Borja is a suspected member of the Eastern Visayas Regional Party Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines, tasked with securing financial and logistics support for rebels in the region.

He even said that I accompanied a Virgilio Borja as soldiers brought him to the 801st Infantry Brigade headquarters in Burawin town, Leyte province. This shows that the AFP has a penchant of using lies to put some spin on the illegal activities that they do to activists. We were never brought outside of Ormoc City, Casio.

Due to Bayan Munas persistence, Lt. Col. Dagoy has agreed that Borja will be transferred to the local city police authorities as of 1:10 a.m.

The buck will not stop here. We will file relevant complaints against the AFP in the proper venues as soon as possible, Casio said. #

****** INBOX is an archive of press releases, statements, announcements, letters to the editors, and manifestos sent to Davao Today for publication. Please email your materials to Davao Today reserves the right to edit or refuse material for publication. *****

comments powered by Disqus