Free Tagaytay 5!

Enrico Ybanez Aristides SarmientoAxel Pinpin Michael Masayes Riel Custodio

(from left to right:  Enrico Ybañez, Aristedes Sarmiento, Axel Alejandro Pinpin, Michael Masayes, Riel Custodio)

It is quite some time since our comrades Axel Alejandro Pinpin, Aristedes Sarmiento and Riel Custodio together with Enrico Ybañez and Michael Masayes has been nabbed by the joint operation of the PNP and the Navy Intelligence Security Forces (NISF) and were accused as communist rebels and as plotters for sowing terror on the celebration of Labor Day (May 1) at the Malacañang Palace.

The five have been brought to different camps and detention cells, the police and military were playing “hide and seek” just to be able to confuse their families of their exact location. Since their abduction on the evening of April 28, 2006, at Brgy. Sungay. Tagaytay City, they have been in illegal detention, solitary confinement and incommunicado from their family and friends until they were presented at the RTC Branch 18 at Tagaytay City on May 5, 2006 where they were sued with REBELLION although P/Supt Rodel Sermonia and Cong. Crispin “Boying” Remulla has fervently testified and acknowledged to the media that the 5 are indeed not rebels.

And after more than two years in prison, there is nothing to be delighted about. Barely three days after their release, a provincial leader, seven (7) peasant organizers in Batangas and Cavite along with their driver are abducted in the morning of August 31, 2008.

Though the abducted Silang 9 is released after two days in Camp Vicente Lim, the Arroyo Administration started its crackdown against leaders of legitimate people’s organization in Southern Tagalog where seven (7) leaders of sectoral organizations in the province were implicated in the multiple murder and frustrated murder charges.

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