By Chito Chavez
Human rights group Karapatan has strongly denounced the warrant of arrest issued against former political prisoner and peasant activist Angelina Bisuña Ipong and several others. They allege that the order was issued based on a trumped-up murder case.
The group noted the warrant was issued by acting executive Judge Lou A. Nueva of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 7, Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur June 6, 2018.
Karapatan noted the same warrant was used to arrest Antonietta Dizon, former deputy secretary general of the Confederation for Unity, Recognition, and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE), last September 17, 2019.
Karapatan deputy secretary-general Roneo Clamor said Ipong is a peasant advocate and a former political prisoner who has been relentless in the advocacy for people’s rights, campaigning for the release of political prisoners and genuine agrarian reform.
During her time in detention in 2005, Ipong taught her fellow inmates how to grow a garden behind bars.
“She has been a long-time activist, dedicating her life to poor peasants, far from the false and malicious murderer label that this desperate government forces on her,” said Clamor.
Prior to her 2018 arrest warrant, Clamor said Ipong was arbitrarily arrested in 2005 for trumped-up charges of arson and murder.
He noted Ipong was abducted and was held incommunicado for 14 days, subjected to sexual abuse and torture while in the custody her military captors.
The human rights leader claimed Ipong was detained for six years, and was subsequently released in 2011 following the dismissal of the trumped-up charges against her.
Clamor said “the fabricated charges against Ipong were dismissed due to lack of evidence, but six years of her life had already been irreversibly taken – six years of injustice when she was separated from her family and forced to suffer dire conditions in jail for a crime she did not commit’’.
Clamor also noted the case of Antonietta Dizon, who was arrested on September 17, 2019.
In the course of arresting Dizon, Clamor alleged operatives also planted evidence in her residence while they were conducting a “search.”
This is why, on top of the false murder charge from the Bayugan court, the police also filed another trumped-up case of illegal possession of firearms and explosives against her. “This is now an ongoing trend in the conduct of arrest of activists,” he added.