DAVAO CITY — The Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE) said suspected military agents tailed their national coordinator on Monday.
In a press statement, Kalikasan PNE said Clemente Bautista, national coordinator “noticed two suspicious individuals alternately loitering and roaming outside the office of the Advocates of Science & Technology for the People (AGHAM) in Scout Fuentebella Quezon City where he was in a meeting with AGHAM’s volunteer scientists.”
“When Bautista returned to Kalikasan PNE’s office in Matulungin Street, Barangay Central, Quezon City around mid-afternoon, the national secretariat staff barely noticed anyone suspicious loitering in the area until in the early evening,” said the group.
The tailing started at around 6:45 PM when Bautista left the Kalikasan office on his car, when he noticed a car and two motorcycles following him.
“Bautista was in the area of Ayala Avenue, Makati City at around 7:30 PM where he parked, hoping to shake off the suspected intelligence operatives. But the suspects, who repeatedly refused to identify themselves, waited patiently just around the parking exit until 10:30PM, even after the parking security confronted them,” it said.
Bautista was able to take photos of the suspects and was able to note the car and motorcycles’ plate numbers.
“We can think of no other entity with a motive to harass a known leader-activist, but the intelligence assets of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, notorious for harassing and repressing advocates and activists who have opposed the national government’s various reprehensible policies and programs,” the group said.
It added that Bautista and the rest of the advocates in their network have recently led massive protest mobilizations and other actions in support of anti-mining and anti-coal communities in Batangas, Mindoro, and across the rest of the Southern Tagalog region.
“They have also been in high-profile actions and have conducted various forms of support for the #StopLumadKillings campaign against the militarization and plunder of the ancestral lands of the Lumad in Mindanao and Igorots in Nueva Vizcaya,” it said.
“This latest attack against an environmental defender is clearly part and parcel of the war of plunder under the AFP’s Oplan Bayanihan, targeting critics and opponents of destructive large-scale mining and other forms development aggression to clear the way to areas ripe for resource plunder,” said Kalikasan.(davaotoday.com)