By JOEY NACALABAN
A GROUP from the National Union of People’s Lawyers is scheduled to be in Dumaguete today to defend Cagay-anon Myles Albasin and five others accused of being communist rebels in Negros Oriental.
The lawyers would file counter-affidavits on behalf of the suspects who have been detained and charged with illegal possession of firearms.
A Mass Communications graduate at the University of the Philippines-Cebu, Albasin was arrested with five others by the military in Barangay Luyang, Mabinay, Negros Oriental in March 3.
Albasin is a granddaughter of the late Sammy Cantal, commissioner of Arnis Philippines for Region 10 who had trained Cagayan de Oro’s arnis team under the Advanced Scientific Skills Efficiency Training program during the Emano administration.
Albasin’s mother Grace, a former editor-in-chief of a daily newspaper here (not Gold Star Daily), said her daughter is not a member of the New People’s Army, asserting that she was in Negros Oriental for an “immersion” with the farmers.
She also denied that the younger Albasin was armed and that the suspects and soldiers exchanged firepower.
The preliminary investigation into the case against the younger Albasin and the others have been set next week.
Meanwhile, women’s rights advocates here condemned the arrest of Albasin even as they demanded her immediate release, saying that human rights advocacy is not terrorism.
Gabriela-Northern Mindanao spokesperson Amalin Baroma told The Gold Star Daily that the 21-year old Albasin was in Negros Oriental to “immerse” with marginalized farmers and that she has not been involved in any armed group, specifically the NPA.
Even when she was still studying at Xavier University High School here, Baroma said, Albasin was already active in rallies.
“At her very age, Myles has already been very active and vocal without fear to express her views against women oppression and exploitation,” Baroma said.