Rights group calls for release of environmental activist 

A HUMAN rights group on Wednesday called for the release of an environmental activist who was arrested in Pakil, Laguna on June 11 for alleged rebellion charges. 

“We call for her immediate release, a victim of warrantless arrest and unjust detention based on false charges, which are seen as reprisals on her advocacy work for the environment and her community,” Karapatan Secretary General Cristina E. Palabay said in a statement. 

“At this rate, this rebellion charge may be used repeatedly against activists in Southern Tagalog as the government continues its harassment against activists and government critics,” she said.

The 69-year-old Daisy Macapanpan was arrested by joint military and police forces, who allegedly presented just a copy of a warrant for a 2008 rebellion case against her.

She had served as a speaker in a gathering of other environmental activists opposing the construction of the Ahunan Pumped-Storage Hydropower project in Pakil. 

Karapatan, citing witness accounts, also condemned the way Ms. Macapanpan was allegedly treated during the arrest as she was handcuffed and forced into a police vehicle.  

As of Wednesday, Ms. Macapanpan was detained at Camp General Nakar, Quezon. — John Victor D. Ordoñez