By Trinity Biglang Awa and Jayjay Jaiho
Taytay, Rizal-The fisherfolk activist arrested Wednesday night by members of Binangonan police who mistook him as drug addict during a saturation drive today asked the Philippine National Police (PNP) why his cell phone was turned over to the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (Isafp) operating in Southern Luzon.
According to the initial report gathered by the fact finding and paralegal team dispatch by the fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya), the chief of PNP in Binangonan—Perfecto Ponce Palad gave the cellphone of Ronel Arambulo to Isafp after his men discovered “incriminating text messages” on his cellphone at the time he was arrested and interrogated for 20 minutes in Barangay Libis post in Binangonan two days ago.
Pamalakaya vice chairperson Salvador France who led the paralegal team yesterday said the PNP turned over the cellphone to the military intelligence group after the police learned that the 28-year old Arambulo was an organizer of the activist fisherfolk group and active officer of the militant party list group Anakpawis.
The PNP said it passed the cellphone to Isafp after they found “incriminating messages” which were scrolled during the brief interrogation in Barangay post, some 20 minutes before the Pamalakaya organizer was brought to the PNP Binangonan police station beside the municipal hall.
“What incriminating messages the police and military were talking about? According to our reliable source the military wants to extract more information from Arambulo and they are trying to figure out how they could present our organizer and party list leader as member of New People’s Army and establish his connection to the arrested 43 doctors and health workers whom the military alleged as communist guerillas,” the Pamalakaya official said.
France said as far as the text messages the military obtained from Arambulo’s cellphone, these messages pertained to the campaign activities of Pamalakaya and Anakpawis for the election that include motorcades and caravans, postering of campaign materials of the party list group and Makabayan senatorial candidates Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza and distribution of leaflets of Anakpawis.
“Does conducting an election campaign for Pamalakaya favored bets a crime now under this national security obsessed government of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo?
“Arambulo is the organizer of Pamalakaya and active officer of Anakpawis and for the military’s criminal and narrow mindset, Arambulo is already something big. This is the reason why the PNP Binangonan has been trying hard to keep him inside their custody to allow the military to fish more information and implicate him, Pamalakaya and Anakpawis officers and members to near future fabricated charges which the AFP will file as part of grand legal offensive mode under Oplan Bantay Laya counter-insurgency campaign,” France noted.
As of 2pm yesterday, paralegal volunteers of Pamalakaya, Anakpawis and Tanggol Magsasaka were asking for the official police blotter on Arambulo’s case, but the police desk officer failed to present any police document regarding the arrest. Although the police said they will file vagrancy against the Pamalakaya organizer.
“We were asking for the official blotter. Who were the arresting police officer and the members of his team that conducted the arrest of Arambulo? On what ground he was arrested and charged? What happened on the night of Feb.10 was illegal arrest and detention. We will file criminal and other appropriate charges against the police chief and his men for this Gestapo like arrest,” said Pamalakaya.
By 4pm, the police took Arambulo to Taytay Police Station and have him inquest for vagrancy, which is a minor offense. At around 4:30 the Pamalakaya organizer was sent back to Binangonan provincial jail. Aside from cellphone, the arresting team took Arambulo’s coin purse containing P 100, a list of beneficiaries of scheduled relief operations among victims of typhoon Ondoy and various receipts.
Pamalakaya said few hours before the “politically motivated abduction”, Arambulo was set to pick up bags of relief goods from the group’s staff house to be distributed to fisherfolk beneficiaries the following day in Barangay Libis, Sitio Wawa, Binangonan. #