THE Bayan Muna party-list group on Monday appealed to the Supreme Court (SC) to expedite the hearing on the petition questioning the legality of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 or Republic Act (RA) No. 11479.
“The lives and liberty of many, including our members and officers, are in grave jeopardy with the continued terrorist-tagging of the National Task Force to End Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC),” said House Deputy Minority Leader and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate.
“Case in point is former Bayan Muna Rep. Siegfred Deduro who has asked a local court in Iloilo City for protection after being accused by the military of being a high-ranking officer of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing New People’s Army (NPA),” Zarate said.
“We strongly condemn this non-stop vilification and threats on the security and life of our colleague, Siegfred, and we trust that the writ prayed for will be granted the soonest,” added the Davao-based lawmaker.
Siegfred Deduro, who served as congressman of Bayan Muna in the 12th Congress and now its Vice President for the Visayas, filed a petition for a writ of amparo before a regional trial court (RTC) late this week as he continued to feel threatened by state forces.
This was in response to the June accusation of Maj. Gen. Eric Vinoya, commanding general of the Philippine Army’s Third Infantry Division (3ID), that Deduro was a leading officer of the CPP-NPA in Panay Island.
“We do not want a repeat of what happened to Zara Alvarez of Bacolod who filed for a writ of amparo but was denied and then she was later assassinated. We hope that the judiciary can act favorably and quickly on our cases that entails the very lives, limb and liberty not just of our members but anybody that opposes or criticizes the anti-people policies of the government,” said Zarate.
Meanwhile, Bayan Muna Rep. Ferdinand Gaite also condemned the threat and supposed surveillance by the military on Bayan Muna Chairman Neri Colmenares, a lawyer.
In a Sunday media interview over ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo, NTF-ELCAC spokesperson Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, Jr., chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Southern Luzon Command, claimed that Colmenares is under surveillance because of his alleged anti-government activities.
“Is it a crime to criticize and expose the many issues hounding this administration, from its servility to China, corruption and rampant human rights violations?” Gaite asked.
Bayan Muna Rep. Eufemia Cullamat said the “continuing attacks and vilification on Bayan Muna by the likes of Goebbels-wannabe Parlade and his minions only prove the effectivity of its work of giving voice and in advancing the interests of the marginalized sectors.”
“Malinaw ang track record ng Bayan Muna sa Kongreso at patuloy nitong paglilingkod sa sambayanan. Malinaw din na gusto itong sikilin ng administrasyon ni Durterte sa pamamagitan ng NTF-ELCAC para wala na o matakot na ang mga bumabatikos dito. Pero hindi kami titigil na ilantad ang kabulukan ng administrasyong ito at hinihikayat namin ang iba pa na magsalita din laban sa mga pang-aabuso ng rehimen ni Duterte,” Cullamat said.