Crackdown on village activists heating up in Sorsogon

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MAGALLANES, Sorsogon – Three days before the gunning down on Saturday of 2 human rights workers in Sorsogon City, military men on Wednesday night had picked up a young village activist in Magallanes, tied and beat him up before turning him over at the Magallanes police station for allegedly possessing a gun and slapped with “Rebellion” charges.

Young man Jimuel Non Saturay, 26. was illegally arrested by armed men night of June 12, tied up and physically beaten up by hand blows and rifle butts, then turned over to Magallanes police station hours after.

This is the story reported by Jimuel’s mother as she claimed the armed men are soldiers of 31st IBPA.

According to reports gathered within the neighborhood, Jimuel was along a section of the national highway while watching a village dance when military men pounced on him. He was beaten up, tied, and forcibly dragged into a van, then after several hours, jailed at the Magallanes Police Station where he was charged with rebellion for allegedly possessing a gun.

The victim’s mother, Cristy Saturay, claimed her son went to Barangay Incarizan to watch a village dance being held as part of the barangay fiesta.

In a related development, human rights group in Sorsogon investigating the incident said Jimuel’s abduction and trumped-up case is part of crackdown by the Duterte Administration on legal dissent, committing human rights abuses, just to silence dissenters. Jimuel is a village level activist who participates in local rallies.

The human rights group claimed that Bicol Region is under “de facto martial law” owing to Duterte’s brutal counter-insurgency program, and MO 32. [BicolToday.com]

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