Another peasant leader abducted in Quezon

ANOTHER peasant leader was illegally arrested and detained in Quezon province yesterday, a militant farmers group said.

The group identified the victim as Franklin Barrera, an 18-year old farmer from Brgy. San Vicente, Gumaca, Quezon and was the latest victim of human rights violations in the region.

Reports reaching the Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (Kasama-TK) showed that suspected elements of the military hit him from behind and forced him inside a red van in Yumul St., Brgy. Gomez, Lopez, Quezon. He became unconscious and found himself in a house in Brgy. San Isidro, Lopez, Quezon, near the 85th IBPA detachment.

He escaped through the backdoor and was confined in a hospital in Atimonan, Quezon.

Barrera is a convenor of the Save Bondoc Peninsula Movement, an alliance organized to stop the human rights violations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Bondoc Peninsula.

“The Aquino government obviously wants to preempt the people’s alliance campaign that will expose the real characteristic of its “people centered” counter-insurgency program dubbed as Oplan Bayanihan,” said Axel Pinpin, secretary general  of the group and a former political detainee.

The group mentioned that yesterday’s incident is only one among the many cases of human rights violations in the province since the AFP deployed 8 battalions of military in the area.

“Aquino’s policies like Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program and Oplan Bayanihan deprived us of a normal and peaceful life. We live in fear as we experience illegal arrests and search, torture, and other forms of harassment everyday,” says Orly Macellana, spokesperson of the Save Bondoc Peninsula Movement.

“The abduction of Barrera sealed the grim future of the agrarian reform under the rule of the country’s top haciendero, Noynoy Aquino,” Pinpin said.

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