Makabayan bloc eyes case vs Galvez for red-tagging France Castro
MANILA, Philippines – Progressive lawmakers are mulling filing a complaint with the Ombudsman against Armed Forces of the Philippines chief General Carlito Galvez Jr for accusing Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Representative France Castro of being a communist.
“We will file a case sa Ombudsman for the military. This statement, this very dangerous and baseless statement, 'di po puwedeng palagpasin namin 'to eh. Ginawa nila ito sa maraming lider ng mga akitibista (We cannot disregard this very dangerous and baseless statement. They have done this many activist leaders),” said Anakpawis Representative Ariel Casilao in a press conference on Monday, December 3.
“You know France. We've been here for almost 3 years under the 17th Congress. Now, you accuse us, you accuse her of being a top leader or a member of the CPP-NPA? She's a leader of ACT, which is affiliated with ACT Teachers. It has a different spelling. The Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) stands for something else,” he added in a mix of English and Filipino.
Galvez said on Monday that Castro and former Bayan Muna representative Satur Ocampo are “active” CPP-NPA members. The two leftist leaders, along with 16 others, were detained in Taguinod, Davao del Norte over the weekend for alleged human trafficking, kidnapping, and child abuse charges. They already posted bail on Saturday, December 1.
Ocampo and Castro, however, maintained they have done nothing illegal, arguing they were on a humanitarian mission to help save Lumad students and teachers from a food blockade by the military.
Castro also warned Galvez that should anything happen to her, she would hold him accountable.
“Dalawampu't limang taon akong guro, public school teacher... Lider ako ng mga guro. Pinaglalaban namin 'yong mga legitimate na kailangan, welfare, karapatan ng mga guro. Hindi ako miyembro ng NPA, Galvez, nililinaw ko lang sa'yo at anuman ang sinasabi mong organization,” said Castro.
(I have been a public school teacher for 25 years... I am a leader among teachers. We fight for the legitimate needs, welfare, and rights of teachers. I am not a member of the NPA, Galvez, and I want to clarify whatever it is you're saying.)
“Kaya ito ay pagsasanganib ni Galvez ng aking buhay. So kung may mangyari sa akin, I will hold you accountable, General Galvez,” she added.
(Galvez is endangering my life. So if anything happens to me, I will hold you accountable, General Galvez.)
On Thursday, November 28, Ocampo, Castro, and 16 others were arrested at a checkpoint in Talaingod town after 14 minors were found in their convoy.
Police filed a complaint against the group, citing the absence of parental consent for them to bring the minors, aged 14 to 17, out of Talaingod.
But the Salugpongan Ta’Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Center (STTICLC) Incorporated said the children were students of the STTICLC school in Sitio Dulyan, Barangay Palma Gil in Talaingod, who were being evacuated due to alleged harassment by state forces. – Rappler.com