The arrests of six trade unionists and a journalist in a single day, and for the same charge, have been slammed by an international rights watchdog as being highly questionable. All seven are accused of possession of firearms and explosives.
Human Rights Watch deputy Asia director Phil Robertson said, “The accused claim that police planted evidence to justify the charges against them. It is critical that these allegations must be thoroughly and impartially evaluated by independent investigators.”
In chorus with other rights groups, he noted this is not the first time the Philippine National Police was accused of planting evidence in order to justify arrest.
Robertson added, “[We have] previously documented illegal planting of evidence by police in cases of ordinary Filipinos gunned down by police in the government’s ‘drug war.’ There is also a damning history of such underhanded police actions against political activists that correctly arouse suspicions.”