Anakpawis Party-list Representative Ariel "Ka Ayik" Casilao called for the immediate release of Amelia Pond, Regional Coordinator of Rural Missionaries of the Philippines Southern Mindanao Region (RMP-SMR) illegally arrested by elements of the Philippine National Police - Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) in Cebu City yesterday. Pond, a teacher and research-documentation officer of Salugpongan Schools in the region was arrested after attending the RMP National Assembly held at a church center in the said city.
"We condemn this blatant breach of basic rights, especially of a rural missionary serving poor farmers and Lumad. We urge PNP Chief Dela Rosa to immediately investigate and order her release," Casilao said.
Casilao also warned that it is becoming a trend for legal activists being arrested such as what took place in Quezon and Camarines Sur since last week.
Casilao urged various sectors to support the people's campaign for the defense of human rights, especially that the formal peace talks between the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) is nearing, after the releases of its consultants, the couple Benito and Wilma Tiamzon yesterday.
"Land and peace remain to be the fundamental call of the peasants and their supporter. We call for the freedom of rural missionary Amelia Pond," Casilao said.
Representative Ariel Casilao, 0998-985-2143
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The RMP is a national organization, inter-congregational and inter-diocesan in character, of women and men religious, priests and lay. We live and work with the peasants (farmers, fisherfolks, indigenous peoples and agricultural workers).