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Bacolod City, Philippines Wednesday, November 13, 2019
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Donít fund detained
militantsí bail: police


Refrain from giving a single centavo to be used for bailing out detained leaders of militant groups.

The appeal was made to the general public yesterday by Col. Romeo Baleros, Negros Occidental provincial police director, in response to the campaign of militant organizations to solicit funds for bailing out their detained leaders.

By giving them even a single centavo, you are helping them to continue their underground movement against the government, Baleros claimed.

One of the 11 detained persons in Bacolod City, John Milton Lozande, secretary general of the National Federation of Sugarcane Workers, was released from the custody of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, on Monday after he posted the recommended bail of P120,000, for illegal possession of firearms.

Of the remaining detained individuals, six were transferred to the Metro Bacolod District Jail, while four others are still under the CIDG custody, including Romulo Bitoon and his wife, Mermalyn, and two others.

Two other arrested women activists, who are facing charges for illegal possession of firearms and explosives, are still detained at the lock-up cell of the Escalante City Police Station, Baleros said.

In a statement, Ka Juanito Magbanua, spokesperson of the Apolinario Gatmaitan Command, slammed state security forces for the arrest of 57 activists, and “planting evidences” at the offices of Gabriela, Bayan Muna and the National Federation of Sugarcane Workers.

Simultaneous killings and mass arrests in Negros Island extremely alarmed Negrosanons, especially after President Rodrigo Duterte himself gave Lt. Col. Jovie Espenido, who is the BCPO deputy director for Operations, an order to freely kill, Magbanua claimed.

In response to the congressional inquiry being pushed by the Makabayan bloc solons, Baleros said it is nothing new for him, as they have already been doing it.

They are always contesting valid operations conducted by the AFP and PNP, Baleros also said, adding that the inquiry also aimed at getting sympathy from their supporters, and those whom they are targeting for recruitment.

Baleros also said they are willing to face any investigation, stressing that they have nothing to hide.

Policemen and military personnel participating the simultaneous raids have been also threatened with counter-charges by the Makabayan bloc solons before the Ombudsman, for allegedly planting guns and explosives.*


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