DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Two Lumad (indigenous people) brothers were arrested by the Davao City police after attending a protest rally held at the Freedom Park along Roxas Boulevard Monday afternoon, July 25.
The Kabataan Partylist-Southern Mindanao (KPL-SMR) identified the two as its members, namely Ismael Pangadas, 22 and Mawing Pangadas, 19. The two were waiting for a jeepney ride when the police apprehended them.
“The illegal arrest was done after the protest action. The police did not even bother to read them their rights. This is clearly fascism in action, blatantly disregarding due process and trampling on human rights,” the KPL-SMR statement said.
The Lumad brothers joined other progressive groups under the umbrella organization Bagong Alyansang Makabayan in voicing their issues, hours before President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Jr. delivered his first State of the Nation Address (SONA).
The two called for help when they were approached by non-uniformed personnel. They tried to resist arrest but were overpowered by the number of police personnel. They were brought by a police patrol and are currently in custody at the San Pedro Police Station.
PJ Dizon of Kilusang Mayo Uno-Southern Mindanao, confirmed in a phone interview that the Lumads were arrested at around 3pm, right after their protest action ended.
“Ginakondena namo ang pag-aresto sa duha ka mga kabatan-onang Lumad atol sa unang SONA ni Marcos,” Dizon said. (We condemn the arrest of our IP brothers, in time of Marcos’s SONA)
KPL said they heard police mentioned that the brothers are facing trumped-up cases of child trafficking and other baseless allegations.
The KPL has urged the youth to expose every attack that the Philippine National Police carry out.
As of this writing, the legality of the arrest is yet to be confirmed. Davao Today is still waiting for a statement from the Davao City Police Office.
BAYAN Southern Mindanao held a People’s SONA rally at Freedom Park that day, attended by organizations Kilusang Mayo Uno, Kabataan, Gabriela, Anakbayan, Transmission, Alliance of Concerned Teachers and Kadamay.
Dizon said the groups are pushing a nine-point agenda to the Marcos administration that carry long-term solutions.
The nine-point people’s agenda include addressing inflation by suspending taxes and deregulation; reviving agriculture and prioritizing food production; making land reform and national industrialization as foundation of economic development; making the defense and promotion of human rights a key commitment of the Philippine government by rejecting the drug-war and abolishing NTF-ELCAC; adopting a clear government policy to fight disinformation, protect freedom of expression and press freedom; instituting a democratic, ethical and accountable governance; providing free healthcare and basic social services for the people by realigning funds from wasteful and unnecessary items; upholding national sovereignty and an independent foreign policy; and, ensuring environmental protection, rehabilitation and balanced use of the country’s natural resources. (davaotoday.com)