ILOILO City – Activists in this city and Iloilo province expect more arrests from their ranks following the apprehension of a former barangay captain of Bolo, Maasin, Iloilo.
Herman Allesa (not Alliza as previously reported) had served as treasurer of the peasant group PAMANGGAS Panay and Guimaras. He was arrested on Nov. 10 by policemen as one of several John Does charged for the June 2017 New People’s Army raid of the Maasin police station.
For PAMANGGAS secretary general Cris Chavez, however, Allesa’s arrest was part of the Duterte administration’s crackdown on progressive groups “sa tuyo nga pagpahipos, pagpatapna sang mga kritiko nga nagasulong sang mga lehitimo nga mga issues.”
Operatives of the Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO) raided Allesa’s house and reported having recovered a grenade.
Allesa denied owning the grenade and Chavez asserted it was “planted.”
PAMANGGAS would be contesting Allesa’s arrest, said Chavez.
“May de facto martial law nga nagaluntad sa aton,” added Chavez.
The government is mistaken to believe that Allesa’s arrest would silence activists, he stressed.
“Ang progresibong kahublagan magapadayon sa pag tib-ong sang kinamatarong sang pumoluyo,” said Chavez./PN