Colmenares: Military attacks vs activists may threaten ‘ordinary critics’

By Inquirer.net |October 20,2018 - 09:17 PM

BAYAN Muna chair Neri Colmenares has blamed the military on the recent criminalization of activists, saying it may also threaten ordinary people who are criticizing the government.

About nine activists from militant organizations Gabriela, Anakpawis and Bayan Muna were arrested in a series of operations launched by the military since last week.

Among those arrested was Adelberto Silva, who was accused of possessing a .45-caliber pistol, rifle, hand grenade and an improvised explosive device.

“To criminalize those who are with political dissent is a very horrible thing to do because right now activists are being treated as criminals-ordinary activists. This is not just a threat for activists but also for ordinary masses that protest against the tax reform or increase in prices of electricity and water service,” Colmenares, a human-rights lawyer, said yesterday in Filipino in a forum at the UP Hotel.

“The AFP said last month that they would initiate a task force for their counter insurgency. They said those who are protesting against TRAIN, they are communists. Those who are protesting on the inflation, they are destabilizers. That is the mindset of military. That is the thinking of Duterte. That is why the Malacañang is the mastermind behind the crackdown of political dissent,” he added.

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