Margarita Valle was arrested Sunday morning at the Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental while waiting for her flight home to Davao City.
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‘Clear state target’: Valle’s family not buying PNP’s claim that Davao journo was ‘mistakenly’ arrested
Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - June 11, 2019 - 10:33am

MANILA, Philippines — The family of Margarita “Gingging” Valle believes the arrest of the Davao Today columnist was not a case of “mistaken identity” as authorities have claimed but an example of attacks against human rights defenders and journalists.

Valle was arrested Sunday morning at Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental on warrant for charges of multiple murder, quadruple frustrated murder and damage to government property. She was released late Sunday night after a witness said the veteran community journalist was not the actual subject of the warrant.

In a statement Tuesday, Valle’s son, Rius, said his mother was not “mistakenly” arrested at all.

“She was a clear state target. Mistaken identity is but a ludicrous propaganda of the Philippine National Police in the advent of the public outrage and pressure to surface and release our Nanay Gingging,” Rius said.

He said his mother was arrested and remained incommunicado for about eight hours, not allowed to be assisted by counsel, be appraised of the charges against her and to examine the purported warrants.

Rius added his 61-year-old mother was “made to undergo such physical, emotional and psychological anguish without due regard and consideration to her health condition.”

Valle was arrested by the Crime Investigation and Detection Group after she was mistaken for a certain Elsa Renton. But her son noted the arrest was an “old familiar tune.”

“In 2016, Amelia Pond, then 63 years old and a worker of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines, was arrested by CIDG 7 in Cebu City by virtue of a warrant of arrest against one Adlefa Toledo. After more than a year of incarceration and a spine surgery, Amelia Pond was released upon the testimony of the complainant themselves that she is not the accused in the case,” Rius said.

He added: “Our mother, Gingging is part of the growing number of human rights workers and defenders, journalists, Lumads, peasants and workers who have been targeted for their stand against the countless state-sponsored human rights violations, especially in Mindanao.”

‘Police should be held accountable’

Rius said the family is studying remedies against those responsible for the incident.

“No stones should be left unturned and the police officers involved should be held accountable for this heinous incident,” he said.

Rius added: “Our family, along with countless others who decry what clearly was a human rights violation, demand justice for Nanay Gingging Valle. Because state terror wins only when fear rules over people. We will not be silenced.”

Police Gen. Oscar Albayalde, PNP chief, said if Valle has complaints or feels the police did not follow procedure in her arrests, “we’ll not hesitate to file charges against our people.”

FIDELINA MARGARITA VALLE MISTAKEN IDENTITY PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE
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