URGENT ALERT: Leader of farm workers abducted, detained by military in Pangantucan, Bukidnon


Leader of farm workers abducted, detained by military in Pangantucan, Bukidnon

Ariel Ronido, chairperson of Onyon sa Yanong Obrerong Nagkahiusa (Union of Common Agricultural Workers – OGYON) was illegaly arrested by elements of the 1st Special Forces Batallion (SFB) of the Philippine Army on December 16 in Brgy. Lantay, Pangantucan Bukidnon. As of this writing, Ronido’s family members still have not been able to see or speak with him.

Ronido was arrested with his brother-in-law Edgardo Andales and the two were brought to the military detachment in Brgy. Madaya of the same town. The next day, Andales’ mother Patricia visited the military camp and was able to get Andales released the same day. But she was not allowed to see Ronido. According to Andales, he and his brother-in-law were captured by members of the 1st SFB who were accompanied by element of CAFGU known as Bolaw Buhian and a police officer identified as Onde Salas. They were held separately at the camp.

Family members tried to call Andales’ cellphone, but failed to reach him. His son Julian received a phone call from someone who introduced himself as a soldier. Julian begged the caller to let them see his father. The person on the other line agreed. Frendo Andales, another brother-in-law, visited the camp on December 18 to see Ronido but the soldiers did not allow him to do so. Julian again tried to call his father’s phone, along with the soldier’s number, but both are unreachable.

Ronido’s family are worried about his safety and well-being. On July 9 this year, Ronido’s wife Analayn was forced by the military to sign a statement that she and Ronido will no longer attend rallies. They left Pangantucan out of fear for their lives and moved to Malaybalay City, Bukidnon.

This is yet another proof how the continued extension of Martial Law does not benefit the people of Mindanao. Incidents of human rights violations like this continue to escalate, bringing fear and harm to the common people, particularly those in rural areas. We demand the immediate release of Ariel Ronido, and appropriate charges filed against his captors. We demand a stop on the attacks against farmers and farm workers and other activists. We call on the end of Martial Law in Mindanao.

Rev. Fr. Allan Khen Apus

Source: Karapatan – NMR facebook page

Date: December 18, 2019