Thursday, July 28, 2005

NR0728:Post SONA abduction

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin BeltranNews Release July 28, 2005
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio, Chief of Staff
Cellphone number 09213907362

Solon denounces military abduction of anti-SONA rallyist; says GMA govt intensifying campaign of political repression against protestors

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today denounced the abduction of the a local leader of Anakpawis Party List and his companion after they attending the State of the Nation Address (SONA)last Monday, July 25. "The Macapagal-Arroyo admnistration and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are intensifying their efforts to cripple the anti-Arroyo protests by intensifying attacks against members and leaders of progressive partylists who are at the forefront of the anti-GMA rallies. Not satisfied with physically blocking protestors and their vehicles from getting to the rally points by putting up checkpoints, the AFP and other armed elements of the Arroyo government are harassing civilians attending the protests."

Armando Barquillo, 42 years old and the acting Chairperson of Anakpawis-Camarin (Caloocan) chapter, and his companion Lirio de Castro, 21 years old and a tricycle driver, were last seen alive in the public market of Trece Martires, Cavite between 9 to 11 a.m. on July 26, Tuesday. The victims left their home in Amaya, Tansa, Cavite in order to meet with a former acquaintance at the public market by 9 a.m.

Eyewitness reports state that Barquillo and de Castro were seen eating and chatting with another unidentified person at a carenderia (eatery) inside the public market when eight unidentified and heavily-built males carrying four armalites and four .45 caliber pistols approached them from behind.

The armed men grabbed the victim's arms from behind, quickly tied them up with packing tape, and began beating their heads with the .45 caliber pistols while dragging them away from the scene. The other armed men reportedly aimed their armalites at bystanders in order to discourage them from helping the victims.

Barquillo and de Castro were dragged outside the market and forced to board a red Pajero parked on a nearby street. The Pajero sped off to an unknown destination, followed by a red motorcycle believed to be driven by other accomplices to the crime.

When the victim did not arrive home at 12 noon as he promised,Barquillo's family members tried to repeatedly contact the two through their cellular phones during the entire afternoon. The cell phones were open, but neither Barquillo nor de Castro responded to the text messages and phone calls.

At around 4 p.m. on July 26, family members received a text message from Barquillo, saying "SA MGA PINABIBILI KO AY K.MUSTA N JAN?MAULAN BJAN?MAY NGHANP B SA AKIN?". The victim's wife found such a message suspicious as Barquillo usually did not use capitalized letters when texting and was not prone to asking so many questions in one message.Family members then tried to call de Castro's cellular phone at around 5 p.m. The victim answered "in a very weak voice", saying that they still have not met up with their companion and would be coming home soon.After the two did not return by 7 p.m., family members and friends dispatched aides to look for them in Trece Martires. There, they learned of the abduction earlier that morning.

Beltran said that the abduction of Barquillo and de Castro is poof that there is intense political repression in the country. He said that the elements of the Philippine military were the most likely suspects in the abduction. "Who else but the military haveaccess to armalites, .45 pistols, and luxury vehicles? Also, the abduction took place in the Southern Tagalog region, which has an infamous record of human rights violations committed by military troops," he pointed out.

Beltran said that GMA's declared in her SONA that she is pushing for the immediate passage of the anti-terrorism law. "This is what the corrupt and illegitimate administraton wants to use to effectively legalize politically repressive mechanisms similar to the ones used under Martial Law," he said.#


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