Monday, September 24, 2018

Families call for release of ‘GenSan 13’

CAGAYAN DE ORO. Teresita Naul's daughter spoke in a rally of support to the #GENSAN13 held this morning, July 6 at the Press Freedom Monument. (SunStar CDO)

ACTIVISTS and family members of the so-called “GenSan 13” staged a “Black Friday protest,” July 6, to condemn the baseless and warrant-less arrest of 13 militant leaders and church workers from Northern Mindanao.

Protesters gathered at the Press Freedom Monument at the Provincial Capitol Park in Cagayan de Oro City to demand the immediate release and dropping of “fabricated” charges against the GenSan 13.

"GIDAKOP AKONG MAMA NGA ILLEGAL," says Teresita Naul's daughter in a rally of support to the #GENSAN13 held this morning, July 6 at the Press Freedom Monument.

Posted by Sunstar CDO on Thursday, July 5, 2018

The Gensan 13 are regional leaders of progressive groups including Datu Jomorito Goaynon of the Kalumbay Lumad organization; Ireneo Udarbe of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas; Vennel Chenfoo of the Kabataan Partylist; Kristine Cabardo of the League of Filipino Students; Teresita Naul of human rights group Karapatan; Aldeem Yanez, church worker of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente; and farmer leader Roger Plana.

Reports said the police forcibly took them while attending a consultation of volunteers and partners of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente Visayas-Mindanao Regional Office for Development (IFI-VIMROD), at the Mother Francisca Spirituality Center in General Santos City last July 4.

READ: 13 activists, church workers arrested in Gensan

Police had gone to serve arrest warrants to three persons who were not even familiar to the participants. The police supposedly insisted that the subject of the warrants were among the arrested participants.

Goaynon, one of the 13, was allegedly forced to admit to being one of the three named in the warrants. He denied the accusation and contested the validity of the warrrant.

The 13 have been charged with obstruction of justice.

Aida Ibrahim, who on Friday spoke in behalf of the family members, said the move of the Duterte's administration to harass and muzzle those who speak the truth will not faze them.

She said the desperate actions of the state forces is igniting them further to pressure the Duterte government to stop martial law and human rights violations.