Gabriela wants probe on terrorist-tagging, arrest of volunteer in Mindanao

Jun. 27, 2018

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Gabriela Women’s Party on Monday filed House Resolution No. 1970 seeking for a congressional inquiry on the arrest and detention of its volunteer worker in Butuan City.

GWP Rep. Arlene Brosas said the arrest of women’s rights advocate Nerita de Castro was based on “trumped-up” charges and terrorist tagging made by the military.

De Castro was arrested last May 31 at Emenville Subdivision in Barangay Ambago, Butuan City. The military said the arrest was made by virtue of a warrant of arrest under criminal case number 183304 for murder issued by Judge Lilibeth O. Ladaga of the Regional Trial Court 11, Judicial Branch 28, in Lianga, Surigao del Sur.

See related story:Gabriela condemns arrest of women rights worker in Caraga

“Nerita de Castro’s illegal arrest is proof of the Duterte regime’s macho-fascist attack on women and of the evils of Martial Law in Mindanao, wherein legal individuals defending the rights of women and marginalized sectors are tagged as communists and terrorists and are denied of their rights,” Rep. Brosas said in a statement the GWP issued on Monday.

She said De Castro was “wrongfully” accused by the military of being the head of the New People’s Army finance committee in Mindanao and for a sketchy murder case in Surigao del Sur.

She also noted that the murder charges against De Castro were filed only a day after her arrest.

In the resolution filed at the Lower House, GWP pointed out that De Castro is a human rights advocate since Martial Law during the 1980s, worked fulltime at the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), Karapatan-Surigao del Sur during the 1990s.

The resolution added that she was also a small-time business owner and has been a volunteer of Gabriela Women’s Party since 2006.

The Makabayan solon emphasized that the arrest of De Castro also presented an added basis to oppose the moves by militarists in government “to expand the definition of terrorism and to impose maximum penalties on terrorist acts”.

She added that the substitute bill of HB 7141 and 5507, which was discussed at the technical working group level today, expands the list of terrorist acts to include even legitimate protest actions and defense of basic human rights.(

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