By Trinity Biglang Awa
Binangonan, Rizal- An organizer of the fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) and former chair of Anakpawis party list-Binangonan chapter illegally arrested and detained by members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Binangonan upon suspicion that the fisherfolk activist has connections with the New People’s Army (NPA) upon discovery of the party list ID in his wallet.
Early this morning, Pamalakaya organizer Ronel Arambulo, 28 was on his way to Pamalakaya-Binangonan staff house in Barangay Wawa to prepare for the relief operations to victims of typhoon Ondoy, when he was chanced upon by Binangonan police conducting an anti-drug saturation drive near the vicinity.
Reports reaching the headquarters of Pamalakaya in Quezon City said Arambulo was taken to Binangonan municipal jail on suspicion that he is a drug pusher and drug user. But when the police found out that he is an organizer of Pamalakaya and former chair of Anakpawis party list, the police told Arambulo that he should be detained because his Anakpawis ID is a proof that he has connections with the NPA and the police kept his cell phone.
Pamalakaya-vice chairperson Salvador France assailed the police for arresting their organizer and for implicating Arambulo to NPA upon the discovery of an Anakpawis party list ID.
“What is wrong with Anakpawis party list ID? That’s a legal identification that Arambulo is an open, legal and aboveground activist. Is it a crime to bear Anakpawis ID for political and legal identification? Is there a law that makes someone criminal, terrorist or unlawful if he has the ID of Anakpawis or other progressive party lists” France added.
The Pamalakaya leader said Arambulo, aside from being his group’s coordinator and organizer in Binangonan for seven years, was elected Anakpawis-Binangonan chair from 2007-2010. Last February 7, the fisherfolk organizer led the election of new set of officers of Anakpawis during its third municipal assembly in Ynares Plaza.
On February 9-10, Arambulo led the five-vehicle caravan of Pamalakaya and Save Laguna Lake Movement (SLLM) to campaign for the party list bid of Anakpawis and Makabayan coalition senatorial bets Satur Ocampo (Bayan Muna) and Liza Maza (Gabriela Women’s Party).
Prior to his arrest this morning, Arambulo was with leaders of Pamalakaya and SLMM last night in Lupang Arenda in Taytay, Rizal for a mini-proclamation rally. The fisherfolk group and the Laguna Lake alliance “miting de avance” attended by more than 2,000 fisherfolk and urban poor declared their support to progressive party lists— Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela, Kabataan Party, Act Teachers Party list and Akap Bata and endorsed the senatorial bids of Ocampo and Maza.
Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap urged Binangonan mayor Carlos “Boyet” Ynares to intervene and recall the unlawful and politically motivated arrest of Arambulo. He said Pamalakaya will not hesitate to file criminal and other appropriate charges against the Binangonan PNP if they will not free Arambulo.
“If they will not release Arambulo within the next 12 to 24 hours, we will file criminal and other appropriate charges against the leadership and members of the arresting team of PNP- Binangonan,” he added.
Hicap said Pamalakaya will also file complaint of human rights violations and other grave violations of guaranteed constitutional rights and civil liberties against PNP Binangonan over the illegal arrest and detention of Arambulo by the local police.
“We will deluge the PNP Binangonan with charges. That’s for sure. We will also ask Anakpawis party list representatives Rafael Mariano and Joel Maglunsod to have this politically motivated act of the police investigated in the House of Representatives,” the Pamalakaya official said.
Pamalakaya has dispatched a team of para-legal volunteers and will join officers and members of Anakpawis-Binangonan to conduct their own investigation and seek dialogue with Mayor Ynares. #