June 4, 2006
Palparan's Men After Peasant Lawyer: Batasan 6 Lawyer Being Tailed by Military Men, Cries Harassment
In a press release today, one of the counsels of the Batasan 6 cried harassment as two men in a motorcycle continue to tail him in his neighborhood and in his court hearings adding another case to the alarmingly increasing list of political harassment of identified militants.
In a statement, Atty. Jobert I. Pahilga Sentro Para sa Tunay na Repormang Agraryo (SENTRA) Executive Trustee and counsel for AnakpawisRepresentative Rafael Mariano denounced the ongoing surveillance saying that, "This obvious threat to my life and security is undoubtedly politically motivated and in consonance with the ongoing political persecution of identified militants and activists. Whoever is behind the political harassment and killings are more rabid than wolves. They target anyone and everyone who sek and fight for truth and justice."
A source from inside the military confirmed to Pahilga that the men tailing him are from Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija under the tutelage of Gen. Jovito Palparan. the source likewise said that aside from monitoring his movements, his cellphone activity is likewise being monitored.
A known defender of human rights, specifically involving those of peasants, Pahilga also serves as the legal counsel of farm workers in Hacienda Luisita. He likewise serves as counsel in land cases involving big landlords.
Pahilga added that the harassment aims at "paralyzing his work in peasant and human rights lawyering."
SENTRA, a legal institute providing legal services to peasants likewise denounced the ongoing harassment and killings especially those against peasant leaders and organizers stating that 52% of the victims in the wave of political killings and attacks under the Arroyo regime are peasants.
Pahilga concluded that, "The attack against peasant leaders, organizers and defenders of peasant rights are all connected to the unrelenting struggle for genuine land reform. The wave of attacks, it seems, is not only state-tolerated but state instigated. If the government could not protect the people, then there is no more reason for it to exist."
Pahilga and SENTRA reiterated their call to an end in the attacks and killings against activists and to deliver justice to the victims. ##