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KMU third update and action alert

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Another militant Party List Representative arrested; DOJ files rebellion charges against party list reps, tags KMU and other progressive legal organizations as CPP fronts

3:30 p.m. – Bayan Muna Representative Joel Virador was arrested in Davao City this afternoon. Sketchy reports said that he was arrested at the Davao International airport. He was immediately brought to Camp Leonor but Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte took Rep. Virador into his custody. Duterte said that he will personally surrender Rep. Virador to House Minority Leader Francis Escudero and House Speaker Joe de Venecia tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano, Bayan Muna Representatives Satur Ocampo and Teodoro Casino, and Gabriela Womens Party representative Liza Maza, opted to go to the Congress and wait for their warrant of arrests to be served. A commotion ensued when policemen tried to prevent their supporters from entering the House. The police also attempted to arrest a staff of Rep. Virador but failed.

This morning, the PNP filed rebellion charges before the Department of Justice (DOJ) against 51 so-called “reds”, which included leaders and members identified with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), partylist representatives, and other militant leaders.

In its complaint, the PNP named 41 individuals and several John and Jane Does. Among those charged were Jose Maria Sison, founder of CPP-NPA; National Democratic Front (NDF) chairperson Luis Jalandoni; and partylist Representatives Beltran and Mariano (Anakpawis); Ocampo, Casiño and Virador (Bayan Muna); and Maza (Gabriela).

It also tagged as legal fronts of the CPP-NPA organizations such as Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN), Gabriela, and PAMALAKAYA, among others.

Last Saturday, Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran, also a veteran labor leader, was arrested outside the gate of a subdivision in Bulacan, north of Manila, where he resides.

At 6pm tonight, KMU will launch a “Candle for Democracy” campaign. Simultaneous candle lighting will be conducted in front of factories, offices and residences to protest the blanket martial law that the Arroyo government is implementing under PD 1017. KMU is calling on the people to go out of their houses, offices, factories and communities at 6pm tonight and everyday and light a candle until PD 1017 is scrapped.

We are encouraging our international network to join us in this campaign.

In solidarity,
Kilusang Mayo Uno