Monday, May 19, 2008

Militant youth leaders cry military harassment

Militant youth leaders cry military harassment

By Jerome Aning
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Posted date: May 13, 2008

MANILA, Philippines -- A militant youth group on Tuesday accused the military of harassing one of its leaders but said this would not deter them from continuing calls for the resignation of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Youth Revolt said Glaiza Dimapilis, secretary general of the Metro Manila chapter of the National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) and the current president of the student government of the Philippine Christian University (PCU), claimed a military intelligence operative has been tailing her and that even her parents were subjected to harassment.

Youth Revolt is a broad alliance of various youth and student groups calling for social change and immediate resignation of the President. It mobilized for and joined anti-Arroyo protest rallies last February.

In a statement, Dimapilis said she received threats from a certain Mike Santos who is allegedly an agent of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP).

In an affidavit, she narrated that Santos had been following her from school all the way to their house. She said she knew then that he was a military agent and a member of the intelligence service and that he wanted Dimapilis to stop her activities as current president of the PCU student government and her affiliation in NUSP.

A few days later, a certain Major Francisco, who also claimed to be an ISAFP agent, talked to her parents and told them that Dimapilis was on the top list of ISAFP’s order of battle.

Youth Revolt accused the Arroyo administration of trying to “eradicate” progressive youth and student leaders who speak against the government.

“We should mark an end to political harassment like these and oppose all forms of repression of the government against her critics,” Youth Revolt spokesman Mark Louie Aquino said in a separate statement.

Youth Revolt said it was “very clear” that the administration was counter-maneuvering to prevent big mobilizations to ensure Arroyo’s stay in power.

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