[Unjustly detained, under risk of COVID19 infection,] KMP demands #FreePaoColabresNow

Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) demands anew the most urgent release of paralegal Pao Colabres. “It is totally unjust and sinister for the PNP to keep Colabres in jail days after the confirmation of the identity and release of Randall Echanis’ remains. The “obstruction of justice” charge has been exposed to be clearly baseless, arbitrary, and even illegal. Napakaraming delaying tactics ng mga taga CIDU, ” KMP national chairperson Danilo Ramos insists. 

The peasant leader points out that the extended detention of Colabres unnecessarily exposes him to the COVID-19 virus. Camp Caringal, where Colabres is being held, was put on lockdown last April after 14 officers tested positive for COVID19. As of yesterday August 14, the PNP has a total of 2,798 positive cases, at least 354 of which are from NCRPO, the highest in any region. NCRPO’s third confirmed COVID19-related death also occurred just last August 12.

KMP has earlier warned that the PNP can be COVID-19 superspreaders as they are deployed all over the country amid the absence of mass COVID19 testing even among their ranks. Ramos reiterates that the insufficiency of testing could mean that there is in fact an even higher number of COVID19 infections. On the other hand, the United Nations and World Health Organization has on numerous occasions suggested the decongesting of prisons to avoid mass infections.

“Colabres continuing detention is sheer abuse of power and callousness on the part of the PNP. He will be spending a whole week of unjust detention, risking COVID-19 infection – for what, looking after a colleague’s’ dead body? Colbares must be released the soonest possible time!” Ramos ends. #

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