By Billy Begas
Members of the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives condemned the tokhang-style simultaneous raids in the Southern Luzon region, which resulted in the death of three activists.
House Deputy Minority leader and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate it was supposed to be a Sabbath Day, but government troops made it a bloodbath day.
“Ito ang gustong mangyari palagi ng gobyernong Duterte sa ilalim ng terror law, na araw-araw ay may madugong raid at pagtatanim ng ebidensya laban sa oposisyon at kritiko ng gobyerno. They already did this in Mindanao, Negros, Manila, Tacloban, Capiz, and, now Southern Tagalog, where an obvious pattern or modus operandi of Tokhang emerges,” said Zarate.
He said that activists will be initially red tagged and put under surveillance and harassment. “Last, their homes or offices would be raided, evidence planted on them or they would be killed.
According to Karapatan-Southern Tagalog in Laguna two labor leaders and a human rights worker were arrested. They claimed that authorities planted firearms and explosives on them.
In Rizal, two were killed and the house of two peasant leaders were raided.
In Cavite, the office of the Workers’ Assistance Center in Dasmarinas was also raided, where BAYAN Cavite coordinator Manny Asuncion was killed.
In Nasugbu, Batangas, a fisherfolk leader and two of his family members were arrested.
The house of Lino Baez of BAYAN-Batangas was peppered with bullets.
Bayan Muna party-list Representatives Ferdinand Gaite and Eufemia Cullamat also condemned the attacks.
Gaite said the incidents are the result of President Rodrigo Duterte’s “kill, kill, kill” message.
“Just last Friday, Pres. Duterte in a speech in Cagayan de Oro told state forces to kill armed rebels. But, these forces do not distinguish between armed rebels or activists, they just kill then say ‘nanlaban’ then plant firearms and explosives,” said Gaite.
Cullamat urged Congress to investigate the rampant human rights violations under the Duterte administration.
Kabataan party-list Rep. Sarah Elago said search warrants are being weaponized to crack down on activists, peasants, trade union organizers and human rights defenders.
“Walang katumbas na salita at galit ang sahol ng atake at inhustisya!” Elago added.