5 July 2012
Reference: ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio L. Tinio (09209220817)
I denounce the arrest of Makabayan Region II coordinator Agnes Mesina yesterday on a trumped up charge of frustrated murder. The arrest took place as I was meeting with her along with organizers of the local chapter of ACT Teachers Party-List at the Hotel Roma coffee shop in Tuguegarao City. We had just come from a successful consultation with public school teachers. The arrest was carried out by elements of the intelligence unit of Philippine National Police Region 2 together with theTuguegarao City PNP under the direction of a certain Superintendent Lito Santos.
The arrest of Mesina bears the hallmarks of the harassment tactics of the national security establishment, which seeks to hinder and repress the activities of activists identified with the Left by charging them with common crimes such as murder, arson, kidnapping, armed robbery, and the like. Typically, the flimsy charges will not hold up in court, but in the meantime, the activists endure a long period of detention and a costly legal defense.
Together with the recent killing of Dutch NGO worker Willem Geertman, the arrest of Mesina indicates that the Aquino administration is waging a campaign of suppression against the progressive movement that utterly disregards human rights and civil liberties. ###