November 13, 2015
Bayan denounces surveillance on chairperson,
harassment of leaders ahead of APEC protests
We denounce in the strongest terms the recent surveillance conducted on our chairperson Dr. Carol P. Araullo last November 10. The surveillance operations took place days before the planned protest actions against the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation. Bayan is leading the weeklong protest actions vs the APEC.
On November 10, at around 8:30 am, Araullo went to the Oasis Center at Maginhawa Street in Teacher’s Village, Quezon City. As her driver got off the car, he was approached by a man on a motorcycle with a backrider. The unidentified man asked Araullo’s driver, “Sino ang sakay mo, si Carol?”
When the driver denied it, the unidentified man said “Lintek!” and then left.
At around 10:30 am to 10:40 am, the same men were seen at a convenience store just near the clinic. Two other men on motorcycles were also seen in the vicinity of the convenience store.
We suspect that those conducting the surveillance operations are state agents as only they have the means and the motive to undertake such activities.
This is not the first case of surveillance conducted on leaders of progressive organizations. Earlier this year, leaders of COURAGE, a federation of government labor unions, were also subjected to heavy surveillance. Similar cases involving the labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno, Salinlahi and Migrante were also documented just weeks before the annual SONA protests.
A medical doctor, Araullo has worked as the chair of Bayan since 2004 and is also part of other broad formations such as the Pagbabago! People’s Movement for Change and
the People’s Initiative Against Pork Barrel (PIAP).
We likewise condemn the filing of trumped-up charges against Bayan leaders that was recently hyped by the Philippine National Police in a press release dated November 12. Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr, KMP secretary general Antonio Flores, COURAGE chair Ferdinand Gaite, Anakbayan chair Vencer Crisostomo and several others were charged last August before the QC prosecutor’s office for various offense related to an incident during the last SONA rally. Respondents have already filed their counter-affidavits in response to the malicious and baseless charges of assault, serious illegal detention and robbery that were allegedly committed against two policemen who had infiltrated a rally. That the PNP chose to highlight the case now, just days before the APEC, is a cheap attempt to intimidate Bayan leaders and members.
We call on the people to remain steadfast amid the escalating state repression in time for the APEC. We call on the people to resist the fascist and neoliberal impositions of the US-Aquino regime and to fight for genuine freedom and social liberation. ###