Detained KMP leader shows COVID-19 symptoms

Ding Cervantes - The Philippine Star

ANGELES CITY, Philippines — Detained Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) leader Joseph Canlas was rushed to a hospital in this city on Saturday night after showing symptoms of COVID.

Canlas, KMP vice chairman, was arrested by the police on March 30 following a search at the office of the Alyansa ng mga Magbubukid ng Gitnang Luson (AMGL) in Mexico, Pampanga.

The raid reportedly resulted in the recovery of a firearm, which became the basis for the issuance of an arrest warrant against Canlas, who is also chairman of the AMGL.

Canlas’ daughter Jenette said her father was rushed to the hospital after he experienced difficulty in breathing and speaking.

Jenette said the family pleaded with authorities to bring her father to a hospital.

Canlas was transferred to the intensive care unit yesterday morning as results of his COVID test have yet to be released, she said.

“The stress brought by his detention and cramped jail condition deteriorated his health. He is hypertensive and diabetic, both comorbidities of COVID,” Jenette said.

The KMP demanded that Canlas be released from detention on humanitarian grounds.

“This is an urgent matter of life and death, and justice. The congested jail condition will only worsen Canlas’ health. The PNP-CIDG and the BJMP will be liable for any untoward incident that may befall Canlas while under detention,” KMP chair Danilo Ramos said, referring to the Philippine Nationa Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.


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