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Progressive groups rally behind after leaders taken in for “standard” possession charges during Holy Week!

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.

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.

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.

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.

Another member of a progressive group, paralegal May Arcilla of Karapatan Central Luzon, is also be arrested by state forces under a search warrant.

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.

“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.”

“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.

https://twitter.com/rnnczrbtst/status/1376911354074865667

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.”

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