Peasant women group calls for immediate release of Gabriela Bicol chair

Manila, Philippines – The National Federation of Peasant Women or Amihan and its regional chapter in Bicol denounced the arrest of Jenelyn Nagrampa yesterday, July 7, 2020 based on a trumped up murder case. Nagrampa is National Vice-Chairperson of Gabriela and Chairperson of Bicolana, its regional chapter in Bicol. She is also a barangay councilor in Nabua town, Camarines Sur.

“We call for the immediate and unconditional release of Bicolana leader Jenelyn Nagrampa. This confirms the critique that the recently signed terror law will be used against activists, as even existing laws are being used immorally against activists. Her case should be cited as political persecution in the coming deliberations of the petitions against the law at the Supreme Court. This followed the illegal and violent arrest of activists in Cabuyao City, Laguna, by Duterte’s fascist police forces,” exclaimed by Zenaida Soriano, Amihan National Chairperson.

According to the independent media outfit Baretang Bikolnon, Nagrampa was accused of being part of the ambush on May 13, 2018 in Ragay town, Camarines Sur that caused the death of two (2) state forces. She was charged with a double murder case with no bail. But Nagrampa condemned the accusation as she was busy on her election campaign on that time and later on, being elected as Barangay Councilor at their locality.

Soriano said that “this old tactic of Duterte and his state forces have already incarcerated many women including peasant women activists such as Azucena Garubat, arrested during the Negros ‘mass killings’ last year, Lindy Perocho, during the serial raids also in Negros in November last year. Moreover, the political persecution of peasant women leader Adelaida Macusang, a senior citizen led to her death inside detention last May. She was a peasant women leader of Montevista Farmer Association in Davao de Oro (Compostela Valley) arrested in 2018 and filed with trumped up charges. We are demanding justice for Adelaida, and calling for the freedom of peasant women and other political prisoners in the country. We are holding Duterte primarily accountable for the political persecution of women in the country.”

Lastly, the group urged the people to join the call for Nagrampa’s immediate and unconditional release and scrapping of trumped up charges against her.

“We urge the people to uphold human rights, oppose political persecution of activists in the country and demand the junking of the terror law. It is clear that Duterte is carrying out step-by-step measures towards authoritarianism, assaulting all the basic freedoms of the people in the country, including the right to freedom of speech and expression, press freedom and livelihood. Also, the latest involvement of government forces to violent crimes victimizing ordinary citizens, such as the rape and murder of a female teenager in Cabugao town, Ilocos Sur, exposes that they are themselves the state terrorists that sow fear among the population,” she ended. ###

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