“We denounce the illegal arrest and filing of  fabricated rebellion case to Genalyn Avelino, a peasant woman leader of Samahang Kababaihang Magsasaka sa Mindoro (SAMAKASAMIN)  and former chairperson of Samahan ng Magbubukid sa Kanlurang Mindoro (SAMAKAMI) last February 24, 2021 inside the disputed Saulog Estate at Barangay Adela, Rizal town, Occidental Mindoro. Avelino’s case was similar to the cases of peasant women political prisoners across the country that fell victims to political persecution as reprisal in standing against landlessness, neoliberal policies and rights abuses. We appeal for her immediate and unconditional release and hold Duterte and his state forces accountable of her arrest,” exclaimed by Zenaida Soriano, National Chairperson of Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women. 

According to Kasama TK and Genalyn’s daughter , she was arrested by three (3) non-uniformed men and  3 PNP members led by Cpt. Ariel Roldan, Chief of Police of PNP Rizal, Occidental Mindoro. The warrant of arrest was for a rebellion case filed before the Regional Trial Court Branch 43 in Roxas town in Oriental Mindoro.

Soriano added that, “In 2016, Avelino even attended the Amihan’s 7th congress and National Council meeting on October 2018 in Quezon City. Moreover, a participant on the 2-day training dubbed as National Capability Building on Rural Women’s Empowerment spearheaded by the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) on October 2018. Last May 2019, she assisted the research conducted by Amihan about the detrimental impact of el niño to the farmers, peasant women and their families in the province.”

Moreover, Avelino was a former treasurer of Kasama-TK and a co-convenor of Bantay Palay, a farmers group advocating for the increase in the buying price of palay (unmilled rice) and against RA 11203 Rice Liberalization Law in the province. 

“We will continue to demand for her immediate and unconditional release along with other incarcerated peasant women under Duterte. Among them are Marilyn Chiva, Marevic Aguirre, Aileen Catamin, Marilou Catamin, Eleutricia Caro , Jucie Katipunan Caro, Nona Espinosa, Azucena Garubat, Ma. Lindy Perocho, Imelda Sultan, Moreta AlegreMarivic Colito, Mylene Colito, Corazon Javier, Armogena Caballero, Margie Baylosis, Merlinda Abraham, Rea Casuyon, Melissa Comiso and others,” Soriano added. 

Amihan will file an appeal to the Commission on Human Rights to investigate Avelino’s case and will coordinate with Gabriela Women’s Party to file a house resolution directing the lower house to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on her illegal arrest and detention. 

“On March 8, marking the International Women’s Day,  we will join the nationally-coordinated protest to demand for Avelino and other peasant women political prisoners’ immediate and unconditional release. We urge the public to join us in our campaign against Duterte attacking our Food Security Frontliners,” Soriano ended. ###

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