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BAYAN accuses PNP, AFP of planting evidence in Bacolod raids

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan on Sunday claimed that law enforcers had planted some evidence during their raids in Bacolod City, which led to the arrest of at least 57 activists.

PNP's Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-6 and the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, Joint Task Force-Negros, and Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office raided the offices of the Kilusang Mayo Uno, Gabriela Negros Center, and the Negros Federation of Sugar Workers on Thursday night armed with search warrants.

In a statement, BAYAN said the arrests "show how low the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) have sunk in their effort to comply with the president’s order."

Bayan claimed that AFP and PNP allegedly operate on "tanim ebidensya modus."

According to BAYAN, police obtains search warrant from a “friendly, uninformed or intimidated” judge, in this case from Quezon City, who is outside the area of jurisdiction where the raid is set.

Occupants of target office or home are forced to go outside while police operatives search the area. Then they will be allowed to get back inside only to discover illegal guns and explosives that police claim were found in their possession, BAYAN said.

“All persons are then arrested, detained and interrogated for prolonged periods while being denied their right to their lawyer or to be visited by relatives and friends,” the group said.

“To justify and muddle their illegal conduct, police and military officials go the rounds of the media vilifying the victims and claiming that these are members or supporters of the New People’s Army,” it added.

BAYAN said law enforcers just arrested everyone on sight during the October 31 and November 1 raids and collected evidence such as t-shirts, leaflets, megaphones, and other materials.

However, the group said these items are used for legal and legitimate activities.

“We thus demand the release of the Negros 57 and all those arrested using the PNP’s and AFP’s tanim baril, tanim ebidensya modus,” BAYAN said.

Earlier, National Capital Region Police Office acting chief Police Brigadier General Debold Sinas defended the arrest of a Gabriela Manila chapter chairperson and her husband for illegal possession of firearms.

Several groups on Friday condemned the simultaneous raids in Bacolod and in Manila that led to the arrest of more than 60 activists.

“Ang alam ng [Manila Police District], ang alam namin, these are mere violations (pertaining) firearms (and explosives). Ngayon lang namin nalaman kasi nag-rally ang Gabriella sa harap ng MPD. Sinasabi na nila na ito ay secretary ng ganito, ng ganun,” Sinas said in statement.

“So, again, we tasked our Intel Unit to coordinate with our allied units to check kung ano ba talaga yung background nila. Sa ngayon, wala pa kaming complete details kung sila ba talaga yan o registered member ba sila, or what. Ang ginawa lang ng MPD, is to implement the approved search warrants,” he added.

Authorities arrested Gabriela chairperson Cora Agovida and her partner Michael Bartolome in Manila's Paco district for illegal possession of firearms, ammunition, and explosives. —Joviland Rita/LBG, GMA News