Some Netizens are tweeting about “Huli Week” for different reasons, but we’re sure none of them ever expected arrests due to possession charges.
As of writing, state forces made arrests involving leaders of progressive groups in Regions 3 and 4A–all of whom got arrested after a search warrant or a valid warrant of arrest.
“Huli week” in Central Luzon. So while everyone being told to stay put, state forces dragging activists to detention centers where odds of infection high. https://t.co/JrbCkzhA71
— inday espina varona (@indayevarona) March 30, 2021
According to various reports, Huli Week started with the arrest of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Gitnang Luzon chairperson Florentino “Pol” Viuya by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in his residence in Barangay Anupul, Bamban, Tarlac.
A report from Kodao Productions said Viuya had presented with a warrant but was not informed of his offense.
Soon after, another leader, Joseph Canlas, was arrested in Pampanga on charges of trespassing.
A staffer of Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luzon told a local news outlet that police served Canlas an arrest warrant for trespassing. (via https://t.co/ecf5JyUJWW)
— ONE News PH (@onenewsph) March 30, 2021
Canlas is the chairperson of the Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luzon. Reports confirmed by progressive groups based both in Metro Manila as well as in neighboring Bulacan.
Separate arrest warrants were being served against Joseph Canlas, the chairperson of the organization, and Florentino Viuya, the chairperson of BAYAN Gitnang Luzon and Workers Alliance of Region 3 (WAR-3). #StopTheAttacks#NoToRedTagging#DefendCentralLuzon
— DASIG SLU (@dasig_slu) March 30, 2021
DUTERTERORISTA ALERT: Nagsagawa ng dalawang magkahiwalay na operasyon ang kapulisan laban sa mga lider unionista sa Gitnang Luzon kaninang umaga, ika-30 ng Marso, 2021. pic.twitter.com/rwOJyzPBYf
— Anakbayan Bulacan (@anakbayanbul) March 30, 2021
Another member of a progressive group, paralegal May Arcilla of Karapatan Central Luzon, is also be arrested by state forces under a search warrant.
Kasama sa serye ng iligal na pag-aresto ngayong araw sa Gitnang Luzon ay ang paralegal ng Karapatan Central Luzon na si May Arcilla, 42 taong gulang. pic.twitter.com/i1sYBBZwKf
— Anakbayan Nueva Ecija (@anakbayan_ne) March 30, 2021
With the now-infamous Huli Week in full swing, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) condemned such an act–the arrests and subsequent raids of these leaders in their homes and offices.
‘Huli Week?’ Teachers slam arrest of progressive leaders amid quarantine restrictionshttps://t.co/ygLhn4SiAm
— Manila Bulletin News (@manilabulletin) March 30, 2021
“Instead of focusing all its efforts on controlling the raging pandemic and providing aid to locked down communities, the government opted to take advantage of such restrictions to hunt down their targets for repression and state terror,” said ACT in a statement.
Even Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Isagani Zarate has called out the administration for its actions, saying the raids and arrests are more in preparation for the 2022 elections than their agenda of “curbing communist threats.”
House Deputy Minority leader and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate on Tuesday linked the intensified raids, arrests and killings of activists and critics of the Duterte administration to the upcoming elections.https://t.co/dOETzXKOLW#PolitikoNews@HouseofRepsPH @Leifbilly
— Politiko (@Politiko_Ph) March 30, 2021
“This is similar to the request for a list of lawyers representing alleged communist rebels in Samar,” he added, going back to a request from Calbayog City Police to the local regional trial court in early March.
Netizens and student groups in Metro Manila have since reacted to the arrests, which later included operations in Region 4A—specifically in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
hindi holy week para sa mga pulis at militar kundi HULI WEEK eh gamit na gamit nila ang ECQ para manghuli ng mga aktibista eh. https://t.co/IiE3gExCQN
— rhai 🌼 (@boooooorai) March 30, 2021
HULI WEEK: LUMALALANG CRACKDOWN SA GITNANG LUZON, WAKASAN! SINGILIN ANG REHIMENG DUTERTE!
Ngayon araw, inaresto si May Arcilla, Pol Viuya at Joseph Canlas sa dalawang magkahiwalay na raid. Sila ay mga lider-aktibistang nagtatangol sa karapatan ng mga mamamayan sa Gitnang Luzon. pic.twitter.com/Tu73JyWAEM
— Kabataan Partylist Laguna #JunkTerrorLaw (@KabataanLaguna) March 30, 2021
Ang sabi namin "Holy Week," hindi "Huli Week" put*nginang yan! 🤬 #StopTheAttacks
— Adrian P. (@AltMAdrianPuse) March 30, 2021
— Riley (@rileyjohns_) March 30, 2021
Nagiging Huli Week ang Holy Week!
Ako si Tris mula sa @PilipinasScm at mariin kong tinututulan ang pandarahas at pag-aresto kina Joseph Canlas at Pol Viuya.
— Trist'n ⛪ #JoinSCMP (@TristnBuenaflor) March 30, 2021
State forces take advantage of a holiday or festivities to launch operations based on search warrants is not the first time.
In December 2020, the Philippine National Police, aided by nothing more than a search warrant, would go on a spree of arrests pinning down no less than seven activists with charges of illegal possession of firearms.
Earlier this month, Duterte would issue a shoot-to-kill order against members of the New People’s Army (NPA) that left nine activists dead in what is now called “Bloody Sunday.”