By JOEY P. NACALABAN
A HUMAN rights advocacy group in the city decried the continuing harrasment and surveillance on their office and staff.
Allan Khen Apus, spokesman of Karapatan-Northern Mindanao said the latest surveillance happened at around 7 pm Wednesday. He said two their personnel, along with three other members of peoples’ organizations, noticed five men in front of their office located at Velez street.
Apus said three of Karapatan’s staff then waited for a jeepney when they noticed one of the men was following them.
He described the latter as a man with dark complexion and had an army haircut.
As the Karapatan staff boarded the jeepney, the man following the group hailed his companion who was on an XRM motorcycle across the street. The two then followed their jeepney.
The group noticed that they were being followed by the individuals (whom they saw earlier) up to the terminal in Barangay Bulua.
Apus said his staff told him that everytime their jeepney stopped, the motorcycle following them also stopped.
At the terminal the Karapatan personnel blended in with the crowd to purposely outsmart those who were tailing them. Then they took another vehicle and left the terminal.
Apus said their group condemns the state’s desperate acts.
This occurrence, he said, reeks of the state’s desperation to quell human rights workers who continuously fight to protect and promote peoples’ rights.
“Outside the city, surveillance, threats, and harassments are even worse especially because of martial law in Mindanao,” Apus added.
He said, in the countryside, members of progressive organizations who are often linked to the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army are forced to admit that they are members of communist insurgency.
“Hands off human rights workers. Stop attacking activists. Activism is not terrorism,” Apus concluded.