By KATHLEEN T. OKUBO
Editor in Chief, Northern Dispatch Weekly
Chairperson, National Union of Journalists of the Philippines Baguio-Benguet
We, journalists in the Cordillera, condemn the unlawful arrest and illegal detention of Sherwin De Vera, and, most of all demand for his immediate release and freedom from detention now! And the dismissal of all trumped charges maliciously filed against him.
Sherwin De Vera is now in the custody of the Criminal Investigation and Detention Group (CIDG) in Bangued, Abra. He was arrested at a checkpoint in Barangay Bulag, Bantay, Ilocos Sur early evening of December 12 on his way home from Candon City. He was detained overnight at Camp Elpidio Quirino.
He is now facing charges of rebellion (Case No. 2014-155) filed at a Court in Bangued.
Last July 18, De Vera had been tailed by unidentified men while he was going around on some errands in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur. The following day, unidentified men believed to be military agents went to the University of the Northern Philippines (UNP) in Vigan and asked De Vera’s whereabouts from the people he visited the previous day.
Our colleague, a respected columnist writer of the Northern Dispatch Weekly, was arrested without warrant on the bus on his way home from work even when he demanded it. This is reminiscent of the abuse of power by government people of authority during Martial law especially the police (PNP-AFP). We link our arms with human rights defenders and advocates like he is, with progressive peoples organizations and institutions who have devotedly served and stood for the peoples rights as he does and, most of all demand for his immediate release and freedom from detention now! #