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Kadamay slams warrantless arrest of community leader, periodical seizure

Urban poor group Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) on Sunday slammed the Philippine National Police (PNP) for the “warrantless and baseless” arrest of a community leader and the raid on the Villa Lois housing site in Pandi, Bulacan.

In a statement, Kadamay “vehemently condemned” the arrest of community leader Rose Fortaleza and the confiscation of the group’s flyers along with issues of the alternative news publication Pinoy Weekly.

“Ang pulis walang search warrant at walang batayan para sa pang-aaresto at kumpiskasyon ng aming materyales pero itinuloy pa din. Sinong kriminal dito?” Kadamay spokesperson Mimi Doringo said.

The group said Fortaleza is still detained at the Pandi police station without any formal charges filed against her, adding that her family members were barred from seeing her.

“Dapat palayain si Rose, hindi namin titigilan ang PNP hangga’t di siya nakakasama ng kanyang pamilya. Tuloy din ang laban bukas, mas lalong may dahilan para kumilos sa lansangan,” Doringo said.

Pinoy Weekly likewise decried the “the illegal seizure of thousands of print magazine copies” by cops on Sunday morning.

“Members of Kadamay asked for a search warrant from the cops. PCPT Jun Alejandrino, Pandi police chief who headed the raid, said the magazines were ‘illegal’ and that they should give up the copies or else ‘may mangyayari,’” the publication said in a statement.

“According to witnesses, during the raid, Alejandrino said that the publication 'teaches the people to fight the government' and therefore is ‘illegal,’” it added.

Pinoy Weekly underscored that its publisher PinoyMedia Center, Inc. is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission as a media non-profit organization.

“It is up to our readers if after reading our reports they exercise their constitutionally-guaranteed right to seek redress of grievances to the government. In any case, ‘teaching the people to fight the government’ in a lawful manner is still a constitutionally-guaranteed right,” the publication said.

“But what the PNP apparently wants is to stifle all critical voices and opinions. What Alejandrino and his men did was an act of tyranny. It has no place in our supposedly democratic society. We will not be silenced and will fight this blatant act of repression.”

GMA News Online has sought comment from the PNP on the matter, but has yet to receive a reply as of posting time. — DVM, GMA News