At 11:35am today, September 17, members of the fact finding team looking into the rights violations in Hacienda Luisita were arrested by the Philippine National Police of Tarlac City in Brgy. Balete inside the hacienda, while they were conducting a protest action.
The following were arrested: Anakpawis Rep. Fernando Hicap with his daughter Carly Mae, KMP spokesperson Danilo Ramos, Sr. Pat Fox of the Rural Missionaries of the Phils, artists and former political prisoners Ericson Acosta and Kerima Tariman, Karapatan paralegal Ronald Gustillo.
The following were injured and arrested: Hacienda Luisita farm workers Luz Versola, Pong Sibayan and Angelina Nunag; and Rene Blasan, Hicap’s driver. They were brought to the PNP Tarlac City Station now allegedly for the ff charges: malicious mischief, illegal assembly, direct assault, tresspass to dwelling.
Karapatan demands that the above mentioned be immediately released. Their arrest is illegal and is violative of their right to assembly, free expression and to conduct independent investigations on human righs violations. No less than Pres. BS Aquino and his private armies in the PNP and AFP in Tarlac should be made accountable for this.