Friday, March 09, 2007

Accused Anakpawis vice-chairman Rafael Baylosis decries new charges against him, questions motives of the judge who issued the warrant

Friday March 9, 2007

Accused Anakpawis vice-chairman Rafael Baylosis decries new charges against him, questions motives of the judge who issued the warrant

Anakpawis vice-chairman and Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) secretary for external and political affairs Rafael Baylosis today decried the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Macapagal-Arroyo government's witchhunt against the leaders and officials of progresisve party-lists. Baylosis has been included in the arrest warrant in connection with the alleged murder of 15 members of the New People's Army (NPA) from 1985 to 1991. The arrest warrant was issued March 6, 2007 by Executive Judge Ephrem Abando of the Hilangos, Leyte regional trial court branch 18.

Baylosis, a former political detainee, was arrested on March 29, 1988 in San Juan, Metro Manila, under a defective search warrant issued by the Pasig Regional Trial Court. He was transferred to the PNP Jail Camp Crame in Quezon City on 12 June 1988 until his release in 1997.

"I question this new arrest warrant issued against me. Given how the Macapagal-Arroyo administration had Rep. Beltran illegally arrested, and how slow the deliberations on his case, it is obvious that this new warrant is nothing but a flimsy means to justify my arrest. The same goes for the others being accused in this case."

"Judge Ephrem Abando should rethink his decision to go along with this plot of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Arroyo government to. He is allowing himself to be a pawn in this dangerous and vicious game wherein the lives of innocent people, human rights activists all are being put in the balance," he said.

Baylosis said that the AFP and the Arroyo goverment were resorting to criminalizing the leaders and officials of progressive party-lists after earning international condemnation from the international community because of the extrajudicial kilings.

"This is political repression, clear as day. I am being accused of something I have no knowledge of, accused by individuals I do not know and have never met. For the last decade I have been an official of KMU and Anakpawis party-list. These new charges are completely false, and the Macapagal-Arroyo government is using this to deny Anakpawis party-list yet another official and leader," he said. Baylosis is next to detained lawmaker Rep. Crispin Beltran in the party-list's hiearchy, with Baylosis as vice-chairman and Beltran chairman.

Anakpawis currently ranks No.2 in the latest SWS survey and is projected to secure three seats in congress.

Baylosis said that he had already been arrested and detained for years on end. " In 1988 I was arrested under a defective search warrant and hence the arrest was illegal," he said. He was charged with the unlawful possession of firearms and rebellion despite the complete lack of proof and evidence.

"Now the same thing is happening again,' he said.

"We are not cowed by this. Anakpawis party-list will continue to campaign and proceed with all its plans to secure a brilliant victory in the May elections. Voters and the rest of the Filipino people see through this transparent and heinous plot against the progressive party-lists. All the more does the Macapagal-Arroyo government affirm its reputation as a human rights violator, with no respect for civil rights and stopping at nothing to crush all legitimate political dissent," he said.


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