Judge junks case filed by PNP vs Innabuyog mom

>> Monday, February 22, 2021

BAGUIO CITY -- Innabuyog - Gabriela Youth UP Baguio cited a Kalinga court’s decision to dismiss “trumped-up charge of illegal possession of explosives” filed by police against Innabuyog-Kalinga’s Betty Belen. 
    Belen was arrested Oct. 25, 2020 when combined elements of the CIDG, PNP-SAF, and AFP allegedly found three rifle grenades in her house.
    Prior to her arrest, Belen has long been targeted by state forces and has been subject to harassment and surveillance since 2016, Innabuyog said. 
    “Mother Betty Belen’s freedom is a reminder that the mass’s fight against the oppressive administration remains unfinished.     There are other political prisoners like Mother Betty who are still held prisoners of their made-up cases.” said Khrismierra Valderama, Bahaghari-UP Baguio women’s representative. 
    She said attacks against indigenous activists in the Cordillera intensified as the state attempts to silence and malign indigenous peoples’ movement.
    CPA chairperson, Windel Bolinget, still faces the trumped-up charge of murder filed by police against him recently, Innabuyog said.
    CPA Secretary General Sarah Dekdeken was reportedly charged of “cyber libel” by Cordillera police director Brig. Gen. R’win S.  Pagkaliwanan, while youth leaders in the region are continuously red-tagged. 
    “The current administration has exerted so much effort and money in silencing the voices of the people through rampant red-tagging and the implementation of the Anti-Terror Law. These fascist attacks against the people is a manifestation of how the administration is afraid of criticism and accountability. Defending indigenous people’s rights to land and self-determination will never be an act of terrorism.” said Angela Mistranza, Anakbayan UP Baguio Women’s Representative. 
    It is evident how the Anti-Terror Law is being weaponized by the state to launch a violent witch hunt against activists and criminalize dissent. As the oral arguments on the Anti-Terror Law continue, the challenge this poses to us all is to continue on with the fight against injustice and fascism.
    “The case of Mother Betty is a telltale of the power of the peoples’ movement. Her release would not have been possible if not for the peoples’ ceaseless and relentless clamor. This victory reminds us that it is only through our collective militant action can we succeed in forwarding our calls for the rights and welfare of the people.” said Janice Militar, Innabuyog - Gabriela Youth UP Baguio Chairperson.
    The fight continues as we demand justice for all political prisoners and the end to state terror, said Janice Militar Innabuyog - Gabriela Youth UP Baguio chairperson.


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