Daily Archives: 21/03/2021

Burma: Lawyer Naing Lin Zaw beaten and arrested




The Philippines: Karapatan paralegal arrested in Cagayan de Oro


Karapatan-Caraga paralegal Renalyn Tejero. Photo courtesy of Karapatan Secretary General Tina Palabay

Police in Cagayan de Oro arrested Karapatan-Caraga paralegal Renalyn Tejero on Sunday, making her the latest activist and rights defender nabbed by security forces.

This was confirmed to Philstar.com by Police Maj. Evan Viñas, spokesperson for the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office, in a phone call after Karapatan first reported that Tejero was taken away early Sunday morning “by suspected elements of the Philippine National Police.”

According to Viñas, personnel of the Philippine National Police and the military served a warrant for Tejero’s arrest in connection with murder and attempted murder charges. 

The paralegal was apprehended at 5:30 a.m. in Barangay Lapasan, Cagayan de Oro City. 

According to a spot report obtained by Philstar.com, Tejero was arrested “for murder with no bail recommended and multiple attempted murder … with bail recommended of P120,000.00.”

The same report refers to Tejero as a “member of KT/KH Regional United Front RWAC.”

“We have to respect the decision of the court…we won’t speak for them, we only served the warrant of arrest. She has a right to explain too,” Viñas said in a mix of Filipino and English when asked for the basis for labeling Tejero a communist rebel. 

“It was a legitimate police operation,” he also said, though no details on the supposed murder cases were provided.

Viñas added that Tejero is in the custody of the Regional Intelligence Division of Police Regional Office 13 in Caraga.

Tejero’s is the latest in a series of arrests of activists, labor organizers and rights workers whom the government has labeled communist rebels. The arrests—and, in some cases, deaths — of activists has raised concerns over the practice of red-tagging, or labeling them as enemies of the state.

“We are currently unaware as to where she was brought. Please help us find her. She had been red-tagged and was at the receiving end of threats,” Karapatan said in a statement sent to reporters earlier Sunday morning.

Later Sunday afternoon, Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, PNP officer-in-charge, urged police commanders “to strengthen their police-community work” in support of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.