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Militant solons seek probe on arrest of women’s rights activist in Butuan


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Militant lawmakers on Tuesday filed a House resolution condemning and seeking investigation on the arrest of a women’s rights activist in Butuan last May 31.

Nerita de Castro, a woman’s rights advocate in Caraga region, was arrested by a combined team of soldiers and policemen at his house in Barangay Ambago based on a warrant for murder issued by a court in Lianga in Surigao del Sur.

Brig. Gen. Franco Nemesio M. Gacal, commander of the Army’s 402nd Infantry Brigade earlier described De Castro as the successor to Leonida Guao, the alleged finance officer of the Komisyon Mindanao (KOMMID) of the of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army in Mindanao (CPP-NPA), who was also arrested in Butuan in February this year.

Under House Resolution No. 1970, Gabriela Representatives Emmi de Jesus and Arlene Brosas urged the House committee on human rights to investigate the arrest of de Castro, describing it as clear “proof” of the Duterte regime’s macho-fascist attack on women and of the evils of martial law in Mindanao.

“Nerita de Castro’s illegal arrest is proof of the Duterte regime’s macho-fascist attack on women and of the evils of martial law in Mindanao, wherein legal individuals defending the rights of women and marginalized sectors are tagged as communists and terrorists and are denied of their rights,” Brosas said in a statement.

According to Brosas, the trumped-up murder charges against De Castro were only filed a day after her arrest.

De Castro’s arrest was an additional basis to oppose moves to expand the definition of terrorism and to impose maximum penalties on such acts, she said.  By GD

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