By NORTHERN DISPATCH
BAGUIO CITY – Without explanation the chairman of the largest indigenous peoples organization in northern Luzon, with the vice chairman and two others were stopped and held at a PNP checkpoint at Banayoyo San Emilio, Tirad Pass, Quirino sometime at 10:00, 28 October 2017.
The PNP personel took all their identity papers and documents in their possession but refused to explain their actions. They were however released some three hours later without lunch or water. It is not known however how many more checkpoints are along their way back home.
Cordillera People’s Alliance (CPA) chair Windel Farag-ey Bolinget, Vice chair Xavier Akien and two staff members of the Center for Development Programs in the Cordillera (CDPC) were held at a PNP checkpoint under a certain PNP P/Supt Labador while traversing the Santiago-Quirino Road back to Baguio City.
Nordis was able to call Bolinget and in the short interview gathered that the group were being accosted to the Municipal Police Station escorted by PNP personel of San Emilio.
When they were held, Bolinget said, the police personnel did not give any clear explanation as to why they were accosted but just held them allegedly because an officer who they said was on his way, wanted to talk to them.
In earlier reports, the 81st IB based in the area have falsely accused the CPA and a local partner, Save Quirino Movement of being fronts of the New Peoples Army.
Bolinget and contingent came from a meeting in Brgy. Patungcaleo, Quirino from where CPA had received reports of human rights abuses and violations. The group was there to look and verify the reports. Their expeience of being held at the 4th PNP checkpoint in Banayoo is considered part of their findings, they noted.
The Ilocos Human Rights Alliance, the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance, CPA and CDPC have sent out urgent alert. They also have sent out strong condemnations of the illegal actions: checkpoints, holding citizens without legal reason or information, confiscation of their documents, etc.. Members of the group are known human rights defenders in the region. # nordis.net