Philippines: ‘Caged’ activist fears arrest upon return from New Zealand

May. 29, 2007

MANILA, Philippines — Labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) today warned immigration
officials and Malacanang to refrain from any form of harassment or
arrest against Dennis Maga, Spokesperson of Free Ka Bel Movement
(FKBM) and Secretary General of ANGLO-KMU upon his arrival from New
Zealand on June 2.

“Reliable sources have informed us that the Philippine government is
planning to arrest Dennis Maga upon his arrival from New Zealand on
June 2. Obviously, Arroyo was embarrassed in New Zealand that’s why
Malacanang is posing to arrest Maga and further suppress the advocates
of democracy,” said KMU International Affairs Secretary Ma. Theresa

Maga was among the protesters who rallied against President Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo at the Parliament during her state visit to New
Zealand. He was hosted by the National Distribution Union of New
Zealand, also supporting for the release of Anakpawis solon Crispin
Beltran. “We are just stating facts about the Arroyo government’s
grave human right violations. It is Arroyo who embarrassed herself
when she flagrantly lied about the state of human rights in the

The young labor leader was ‘caged’ outside the New Zealand Parliament
as his symbolic protest against the Philippine government’s continued
detention of Beltran. The incident stirred massive media mileage from
New Zealand, Philippine and international media.

The protests countered Arroyo’s boasting of her ‘exemplary’ human
rights record in the Philippines. Unions in New Zealand who are allies
of KMU and FKBM staunchly condemned the continued illegal detention of
Beltran and almost 900 cases of extra judicial killings, abductions
and incidents of harassment and various human rights violations
perpetrated by government elements against critics of Arroyo’s
administration. ###

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