The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) condemns in the strongest possible terms the brutal and deadly crackdown on activists in Cavite, Laguna, Batangas and Rizal early morning today, March 7.

The PNP has confirmed that 9 were arrested, six were killed, and six others “escaped” in simultaneous raids on offices and homes of the activists based on 18 search warrants. A number of search warrants used were issued by Judge Jose Lorenzo de la Rosa of the RTC Manila Branch 4.

Among those killed were Bayan Cavite coordinator Manny Asuncion, who was gunned down in the raid at the Workers Assistance Center in Dasmariñas, Cavite, an institution founded and headed by the late Fr. Joe Dizon.

Among those arrested was BAYAN Laguna spokesperson Mags Camoral, who was arrested in the raid of the Defend Yulo Farmers campaign headquarters in Cabuyao, Laguna. Also raided was the house of BAYAN Batangas coordinator Lino Baez.

These attacks on Bayan leaders, as well as other activists and human rights defenders in the Southern Luzon region, comes at the heels of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s order to the PNP and AFP to disregard human rights and kill suspected rebels. It is no coincidence that the AFP Southern Luzon Command is headed by notorious red tagger Gen. Antonio Parlade, Jr., who can only be too eager to follow his Commander in Chief’s order.

We hold Pres. Duterte and Gen. Parlade directly accountable for the killing and illegal arrest of these unarmed activists, as well as the brazen weaponization of search warrants and planting of evidence that were done to justify such actions. This adds to the long long list of atrocities committed by Duterte and his tyrannical, fascist regime.

We demand that all those arrested be freed and that an independent, credible investigation into the simultaneous raids be done by Congress and the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to hold those responsible to account.

We likewise demand that that the Supreme Court take immediate steps to prevent the further weaponization of search warrants and other judicial instruments to silence activists, political dissenters and government critics.

We call on our people to be steadfast in these trying times and to not be intimidated. Let us persevere in the struggle to end the Duterte fascist regime.#

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