NEWS RELEASE: Surface Ka Alex Arias, P-Noy, AFP told
April 12, 2012
Surface Ka Alex Arias, P-Noy, AFP told
KMP – Laguna chief abducted, missing
The militant peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) and the Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (Kasama-TK) today condemned the abduction of its provincial chairperson and demanded the Aquino government and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to immediately surface Alex Arias, chairperson of the Pagkakaisa’t Ugnayan ng mga Magsasaka sa Laguna (PUMALAG – KMP), who was abducted by suspected state security forces last April 7.
Reports reaching the KMP national office state that Arias, 56, was driving a motorcycle on his way home to Liliw, Laguna last Saturday when blocked by armed men in Barangay (village) Bubukal in Sta. Cruz town. The armed men, believed to be elements of the 1st Infantry Battalion – Philippine Army were riding a van also escorted by a number of motorcycles.
“We vehemently condemn this latest attack by the Aquino government and state security forces against peasant leaders. We demand Aquino and the AFP to immediately surface Ka Alex,” says KMP deputy secretary general Randall Echanis.
Echanis said “the enforced disappearance of Ka Alex clearly demonstrates the Aquino government’s continuing attacks against farmers demanding their rights to the lands.”
Local residents in Barangay Tuy Baanan in Liliw, Laguna where Arias is residing testified that the military have been looking for him since the Philippine Army put up a detachment in the village last month.
“Ka Alex is an active peasant leader in the region. Being the chairperson of PUMALAG, he is also a member of the regional council of Kasama-TK and the national council of KMP,” according to Axel Pinpin, secretary general of Kasama-TK.
Pinpin, a political detainee during the administration of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, stressed that illegal arrest and detention is still continuing in the country under the Oplan Bayanihan of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
“There is no reason for us to doubt that the state elements are involved in the illegal arrest and disappearance of Ka Alex. We will not be surprised if later on they will be presenting Ka Alex to the media as another top-ranking official of the New People’s Army carrying guns and explosives,” Pinpin added. #