November 17, 2018
Two men suspected to be military personnel in plainclothes were detained in Sipalay City, Negros Occidental on Saturday evening after one of them was found to be armed with a handgun near the wake of slain human rights lawyer Benjamin Ramos Jr.
Members of the Sipalay City Police Station found one of the men carrying an Armed Forces of the Philippines identification card bearing the name of Cpl. Rodolfo Alemen Jr.
The other man did not have any identification documents.
They refused to answer questions from the INQUIRER.
Lawyers belonging to the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) and members of militant organizations sought police assistance after they noticed the two men on a motorycle following a convoy of vehicles from Bacolod City to Sipalay City.
A third man in a silver pick up was also following the convoy, which included NUPL national officers, among them Edre Olalia, the national president of the lawyers’ group.
On going press conference of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) and the KARAPATAN relative to the Sagay Massacre, the filing of Kidnapping and Serious Illegal Detention case against NUPL lawyer, Katherine Panguban, and the recent killing of Negros Occidental Chapter Secretary General, Benjamin T. Ramos, Jr., held at the Negros Press Club, Bacolod City.
(KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights Facebook, 17/11/18)
November 17, 2018: Men onboard a single Honda motorcycle and those on the silver Hilux pick-up have been following our convoy since noon from Bacolod City to Sipalay (a 3-4 hour land trip), where Karapatan, NUPL, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW) and many other people’s organizations were to attend the wake and funeral of Atty. Benjamin Ramos at the Sipalay Gym in Negros Occidental.
Upon arrival at the Sipalay Gym, rights advocates sought the arrest of the men, when they saw them with two guns. Upon apprehension, the men were identified as Rodolfo Gaday Alemen Jr. and Macoy Villahermosa, both agents/enlisted personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Alemen Jr. gave his ID cards while Villahermosa refused to surrender his ID/s. Villahermosa’s gun also mysteriously disappeared after police apprehension. Rights advocates will file appropriate charges against these two before a Sipalay prosecutor.
Alemen Jr. is the same state agent who was identified to have previously harassed Bayan Negros spokesperson Christian Tuayon and his family, including his child. Like Atty. Benjamin Ramos, Tuayon is in the so-called hitlist of persons tagged by suspected state agents as communist personalities in flyers/posters previously disseminated in Negros.
Suspected state agents onboard the silver Hilux pick up remain unapprehended.
Karapatan decries these continuing forms of harassment by suspected State agents in Negros and elsewhere in the country. These are shameless and illegal acts by cowards in uniform who publicly villify, fabricate charges and kill human rights defenders and political dissenters.
Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights
2nd Flr. Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin corner Matatag Sts., Central District
Diliman, Quezon City, PHILIPPINES 1101
Telefax: (+63 2) 4354146
KARAPATAN is an alliance of human rights organizations and programs, human rights desks and committees of people’s organizations, and individual advocates committed to the defense and promotion of people’s rights and civil liberties. It monitors and documents cases of human rights violations, assists and defends victims and conducts education, training and campaign.