Makabayan bloc seeks investigation into activist’s US detention
After the detention of a Moro activist in a United States airport, members of the House of Representatives’ Makabayan bloc have filed a resolution aimed at investigating allegations of torture by US Homeland Security officials.
Representatives Carlos Zarate, Antonio Tinio, France Castro, Ariel Casilao, and Sarah Jane Elago endorsed the four-page House Resolution 1827 on Thursday. The document presents the complaints of human rights activist Jerome Aba, who was invited to the US for a talk about human rights violations in the Philippines.
“Activists are under attacks in the Philippines and in the US. People all over the world should condemn this deplorable acts,” Zarate said in a statement.
According to Aba, he was held inside a secured facility on San Francisco International Airport on grounds of being a “communist” and a “terrorist.” He said that US authorities made the claim after showing photos of him with Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Chief Peace Negotiator Mohagher Iqbal and Bayan Muna Chairman Satur Ocampo.
Aba has also asked for the help of Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano in protesting the “inhumane” treatment he received in the hands of US authorities.
“They (US and Philippine governments) should stop harassing activists,” Zarate said, referring to the recent issues involving Aba and Australian nun Sister Patricia Fox. /je
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