HomeNews AlertProtestant pastor red-tagged, arrested in Bicol

Protestant pastor red-tagged, arrested in Bicol

Police arrested a pastor of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines on Thursday, July 9, for charges of “double murder” over the ambush of soldiers by communist guerrillas in 2018.

Pastor Dan San Andres, 61, chairman of human rights group Karapatan in the region, was arrested at 12:55 p.m. in his house in Sipocot town, Camarines Sur.

The arrest of San Andres came two days after the head of women’s rights group Gabriela in the province, Jenelyn Nagrampa, was also arrested over the same charges.

Nagrampa, a current village councilor in San Isidro, Nabua, Camarines Sur, was arrested at her residence in Nabua, Camarines Sur about noon on July 7.

San Andres and Nagrampa have already filed counter-affidavits before the court, denying their participation in the 2018 incident.

They submitted their affidavits during the preliminary investigation on the double murder complaint last December 2019.

They claimed that during the 2018 incident, San Andres was conducting a religious service in his parish while Nagrampa was campaigning for the village elections.

- Newsletter -

In a statement, Karapatan said the arrests “signal darker days ahead in the country with the signing of the Anti-Terrorism Act.”

The group assailed the arrests and charges as “part of the (President Rodrigo) Duterte administration’s continuing crackdown and criminalization of human rights defenders.”

“In a matter of days after the Anti-Terrorism Act was signed, the harassment of human rights defenders in the country has already visibly worsened,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.

“The concoctions of cases linking human rights defenders to alleged [rebel] encounters is already an old and tired tactic repeatedly orchestrated by the military to harass, threaten, intimidate, and criminalize us as well as to publicly vilify us as ‘terrorists’ or ‘terrorist sympathizers,’” said Palabay.

Palabay herself was served a warrant of arrest by a police officer disguised as a delivery man on Tuesday, July 7.

The warrant was from a case involving Palabay and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon. Palabay was already granted bail and has secured a recall order for the warrant against her.

On July 3, President Duterte signed the Anti-Terror Bill into Law, which critics said can be used to target activists and government critics.

The day after the law was signed, 11 activists were arrested in Laguna province for staging a protest rally.

© Copyright LiCAS.news. All rights reserved. Republication of this article without express permission from LiCAS.news is strictly prohibited. For republication rights, please contact us at: [email protected]

Leave a Reply

Support LiCAS.news

We work tirelessly each day to tell the stories of those living on the fringe of society in Asia and how the Church in all its forms - be it lay, religious or priests - carries out its mission to support those in need, the neglected and the voiceless.
We need your help to continue our work each day. Make a difference and donate today.