Cris Hugo, the LFS leader in Bicol was killed 2 weeks
ago. Last night, 2 student leaders were arrested
during an anti-cha-cha community forum in Pandacan
staged under the rules of the barangay.
So what are the youth supposed to do in these times?
Just go malling -- if they have the money? or continue
their education beyond the classrooms?
April 5, 2006
Two youth leaders arrested in anti-chacha forum
A former Student Regent and the incumbent Central Student Council Chairperson of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines were arrested by the police last night while speaking in a pulong masa (community forum) on the perils of a cha-cha express by the Arroyo government.
Lire Filipino Maga, former PUP-SR and Henrie Enaje, incumbent PUP-CSC Chairperson were forcibly arrested at around 7:30 pm last night in Tomas Claudio, Pandacan, Manila after speaking in a pulong masa arranged by Anakbayan�s Summer Strike teams. Enaje is also the chairperson of Anakbayan�s PUP University-Wide Chapter.
They were arrested by a certain SPO1 Roger Magpantay along with ten other policemen. They were immediately brought the Western Police District Station 5 in United Nations Avenue.
Atty. Neri Colmenares of CODAL rushed to the station and insisted that Maga ang Enaje were illegally arrested and that they be released uncharged under his custody. But at around 10:30 pm last night, they were inquested and charged with illegal assembly in light of BP 880.
According to Colmenares, CODAL will take up the cases of the two youth leaders to the ongoing hearings and oral arguments on the constitutionality of the BP 880 and the Calibrated Pre-emptive Response. "The police have no right to arrest, much less detain and charge, withouth warrant those who are only exercising their constitutional rights to freedom of speech and expression."
Eleanor de Guzman, Anakbayan national chairperson, said, "Is this what the Arroyo government is calling 'democratic _expression' This is not real democracy at work but a clear bribery, intimidation and coercion by the government to compel our countrymen to abide by its self-serving efforts for a charter change. Unlike the government, we care to explain to the people the real score on Arroyo's cha-cha express and what do we get in return"
De Guzman said that the pulong masa was staged in compliance with barangay officials. The venue of the said gathering was earlier secured with a permit and was well-attended by local residents on their own accord.
"Maga and Enaje were not guilty of illegal assembly. The pulong masa was a legitimate activity of the community, unlike the government's People's Initiative assemblies in which barangay constituents were deceived into attending," she said.
"We reject any cha-cha under this regime because it will only preserve and prolong Arroyo�s stay in power. We find it hypocritical and utterly undemocratic that Arroyo is now invoking "democratic expression" when our youth leaders are prohibited from exercising their rights to expose and oppose the government's real motives behind cha-cha," de Guzman added.
Summer Strike teams consist of Anakbayan chapters in schools, universities and communities designed to continue contributing in the oust Arroyo movement even during the summer break.
Konsultahang Kabataan assemblies and pulong masas are also already scheduled in various other communities and barangays to inform and educate on the perils of Arroyo's Cha-cha.
The youth group announced that it will march with other sectors opposed to cha-cha on April 6, the first big mass action challenging the so-called "people's initiative" to amend the constitution. ###