Groups assail police checkpoints, surveillance in Southern Tagalog a day before EDSA uprising protest

February 25, 2024


Laguna police on high alert a day before the anniversary of People Power uprising. (Photo from the Facebook post of Laguna Police Provincial Office)

By JACINTO LINGATONG

Bulatlat.com

SANTA ROSA,Laguna – Reports of increased police checkpoints and intelligence agents near offices and universities have been documented a day before the 38th year commemoration of the first people power uprising that toppled the dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

Karapatan Laguna said there were checkpoints that were put up in 21 towns, particularly in the towns of Calamba, Los Banos, Santa Rosa, Binan, Magdalena, Santa Cruz, Victoria, Pila, Bay, Lumban, San Pablo, Rizal, Cavinti, Mabitac, Luisiana, Alaminos, Paete, Nagcarlan, Cabuyao, Siniloan, and San Pedro.

Based on reports, the purpose of the checkpoints is said to be for counterinsurgency.

The Laguna Police Provincial Office said in a Facebook post that the police are on high alert for the upcoming anniversary of the EDSA uprising, led by Laguna Police Provincial Office (PPO) Acting Provincial Director, PCOL Gauvin Mel Y. Unos, who assigned checkpoints and strategic security control points are said to be for “public safety.”

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan – Southern Tagalog also reported additional checkpoints in Cavite in time for today’s protest. Police officers stop vehicles to ask if the occupants are activists and if they are carrying placards or other related materials, the group added.

It was also reported that intelligence agents were spotted inside the University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB) where a student-led workshop is being conducted, a SWAT vehicle was also spotted at a workers’ office in Pulo, Cabuyao and a police mobile guarding Lupang Ramos, a community of farmers in Dasmarinas, Cavite where drones were also seen and have been reported by residents.

BAYAN Southern Tagalog said, “This is not the first time this has happened. During the mobilization for the State of the Nation Address 2023, the delegation of Southern Tagalog was blocked in Cavite by a PNP checkpoint.”
Southern Tagalog human rights groups said the heightened police presence is due to the Task Force Sanglahi Bravo, which aims to end local communist armed conflict in cities and municipalities all over the country.

According to Karapatan Laguna, there has been inter city and inter municipality coordination for the said task force in the province of Laguna.

“This is a clear violation of human rights, especially since the police clearly stated that their actions were for the upcoming anniversary of the EDSA uprising anniversary. Their posturing value of ‘public safety’ is a direct attack on the right to express calls against moves to amend the Constitution, which is the theme of the EDSA anniversary mobilization,” said BAYAN Southern Tagalog.

They added, “no checkpoints or surveillance officers can stop the people in voicing out their calls on the day of the EDSA uprising anniversary.” (JJE, RVO) (https://www.bulatlat.org)





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