Says Duterte admin should stop peace spoilers in their ranks

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate today strongly denounced the sneaky and dubious transfer of political prisoners Ben Quilloy and Rita Espinoza from their Camp Crame detention cell to Agusan del Sur without notice to their counsels.

The two (2) development workers were illegally arrested last October 19, 2017 in Kabankalan, Negros Occidental after attending a meeting of sugarcane workers. They were slapped with trumped up charges of murder, robbery and arson.

“At around 2pm Friday, several police from the Bayugan Municipal Police Station went to Camp Crame in order to transfer Ben and Rita to Agusan del Sur, where the trumped up charges agsinst them are pending. This precipitate transfer was made without their lawyers being informed and they were also prohibited from bringing with them their personal belongings, including their maintenance medicines. This despicable calibrated act by state forces is a clear attempt to spoil and sow distrust in the current state of the peace talks, where among the agreements being considered is the amnesty and release of political prisoners,” said the progressive solon.

“Ben and Rita should not have been arrested in the first place because
they are development workers who have dedicated their lives to serve the poor and marginalized. Yet, instead of support, they are being vilified, threatened, and harassed by the government,” said Rep. Zarate

“At the very least they should be returned to Camp Crame and those responsible for their transfer be charged and penalized. Ben and Rita, along with other political prisoners, should not be moved around like chess pieces to advance the objective of peace spoilers in undermining the peace process,” added the Davao-based solon.

“The Duterte administration should also be wary and vigilant against peace spoilers within in its ranks and put a stop to their sabotage operations” ended Rep.Zarate.###

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AscentPH is a national alliance of development organizations determinedly working for the empowerment of the people through poverty alleviation and promoting and defending the right to development and other fundamental human rights and freedoms.

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