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Women’s rights group condemns ‘persecution’ of 4 ex-solons

Gaea Katreena Cabico - Philstar.com
Womenâs rights group condemns âpersecutionâ of 4 ex-solons
Tanggol Bayi likened the situation of the four lawmakers—dubbed as “Makabayan 4”—to parading of suspects deprived of social and political rights on the streets.
The STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — A women’s rights group on Monday denounced the supposed “intimidation and political persecution” of former party-list solons tagged in the killing of three individuals in Nueva Ecija more than a decade ago.

In a statement, Tanggol Bayi said the arrest warrant for National Anti-Poverty Commission chair Liza Maza, former agrarian reform chief Rafael Mariano and former Bayan Muna party-list Reps. Satur Ocampo and Teddy Casiño is part of the government’s “employment of legal offensives against those who uphold people’s rights.”

“Forcing them to surrender under such unjust circumstances is feeding them to the lions, to serve as a spectacle for this regime’s supporter and as a warning to the opposition,” the group said.

Malacañang, however, denied the allegation that President Rodrigo Duterte has a hand in the revival of the case.

“Not even the president can interfere in our judicial process,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said last week.

Tanggol Bayi likened the situation of the four lawmakers—dubbed as “Makabayan 4”—to parading of suspects deprived of social and political rights on the streets.

“We remind the public that the Makabayan 4 who are being battered by this regime’s media play are public servants who have offered their expertise and lives to the Filipino people. They are strong, courageous activists who never cease to keep the government in check,” the group said.

It noted that the four former lawmakers did not use their positions for personal gains despite being among the poorest government officials during their terms.

“On the other hand, we have monsters who have used their position precisely to corrupt and plunder the nation, but are welcomed with open arms as House speaker,” Tanggol Bayi said.

The women’s rights group, moreover, expressed support for Maza, a former representative of Gabriela party-list.

It said that Maza “has worked tirelessly to break down these systemic barriers.”

A Nueva Ecija court three weeks ago issued the arrest warrant for the four over the abduction and killing of Danilo Felipe in 2001, Jimmy Peralta in 2003 and Carlito Baduyang in 2004. The three victims were reportedly supporters of rival party-list Akbayan.

READCamp of ex-Makabayan solons hits lawyer for P1M bounty

LIZA MAZA

RAFAEL MARIANO

SATUR OCAMPO

TEDDY CASIñO

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