Farmers demand release of CL peasant leader, urge SC to review issuance of warrants

“We demand the urgent release of Joseph Canlas, vice-chairperson of KMP and leader of Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luzon (AMGL) who was illegally arrested yesterday in Mexico, Pampanga by police and military operatives based on a defective search warrant.” 

“We have seen this modus many times before. The PNP is always employing its blunt tactic of tanim ebidensya  —   planting fabricated evidence like guns, ammunition, grenade, and alleged subversive documents. This was the same tactic used in the illegal arrest and detention of hundreds of activists who were incarcerated by the Duterte administration,” says KMP chairperson Danilo Ramos.  

KMP maintains that the acquisition and serving of search warrants both for Joseph Canlas and BAYAN Central Luzon leader Pol Viuya did not go through due process and were based on flimsy grounds and claims by police elements.

The search warrant against Canlas was issued by Ma. Angelica T. Paras-Quiambao, Executive Judge of Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Angeles City. The search warrant against Viuya was issued by Jeovannie C. Ordoño, Presiding Judge of RTC Branch 109 in Capas, Tarlac. “It is unfortunate that Courts have become warrant factories, and judicial orders have been weaponized to serve PNP’s dirty operations vs. activists and government critics.” 

“Sa ginawa kay Joseph Canlas, literal na itinanim ang granada na natagpuan daw sa paso ng halaman. Eksperto na sa pagtatanim ng ebidensya ang PNP pero wala nang naniniwala sa kanila,” Ramos said. The farmers’ group said a preliminary investigation is in order on the cases of Canlas and Viuya.

The farmers’ group strongly urged the Supreme Court to issue new guidelines and rulings on the issuance of search warrants in light of its use in a very apparent tanim-ebidensya modus of the PNP-CIDG targeted against known government critics. 

Lastly, KMP and AMGL said they will continue to mount protests in opposition to the arrest of Canlas and other activists. In Bataan, farmers led a farm protest or Protestang Bukid to demand the release of Canlas. #

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