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Central Luzon peasant leader Joseph Canlas dies more than a month after arrest

First update (May 11, 2021 10:36 AM)

Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) Vice Chair and Alyansa ng Magbubukid Gitnang Luson (AMGL) Chair Joseph Canlas dies while being treated in Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital in San Fernando, Pampanga, 7 AM today, Anakbayan Central Luzon says. The cause of his death was being infected with COVID-19.

The 59-year-old Canlas was detained last March 30 after being served an arrest warrant in Pampanga by elements of the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG). According to KMP, Canlas was detained in Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) Detention Center in Angeles.

Authorities also arrested Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) Gitnang Luzon and Workers Alliance of Region 3 (WAR-3) chair Pol Viuya and BAYAN Gitnang Luzon paralegal May Arcilla in a separate raid on Viuya’s private residence in Tarlac on that day.

Last May 8, KMP, mentioning Canlas’ family, says that he was taken to a hospital due to him “experienced breathing difficulties and stuttering speech” on that day.

“If jail authorities thoroughly checked Canlas’s health condition, they would have known that he has hypertension and diabetes which makes him more vulnerable to COVID infection. If he received proper medical attention while in detention, then the risks could have been lessened,” KMP said in a separate update, adding that Canlas was not tested for COVID-19 while in custody and that Warden Jsupt. Rebecca Manalo-Tiguelo allegedly “belittled” Canlas’ health issues as being “umaarte lang.”

More details to follow.


Earlier updates:

March 30, 2021:

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) Gitnang Luzon confirms that Pol Viuya, their own chairperson and Workers Alliance of Region 3’s (WAR-3), was arrested by elements of Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG)-Tarlac in a Bamban, Tarlac “private residence.

Around the same time, BAYAN Gitnang Luzon updated that members of Philippine National Police (PNP)-CIDG raided the office of farmer group Alyansa ng Magbubukid Gitnang Luson (AMGL) based at Sapang Maisac, Mexico, Pampanga. It is there that AMGL chair and Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) vice-chair Joseph Canlas is being served an arrest warrant.

A separate update from KMP said that Canlas is now being taken to Camp Olivas in San Fernando, Pampanga.

These were the latest attacks on progressives in Luzon, as only two days ago, Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan – Kilusang Mayo Uno (PAMANTIK-KMU) vice chair and Lakas ng Nagkakaisang Manggagawa ng Fuji Electric – Organization of Labor Associations in Line Industries and Agriculture (OLALIA-KMU) head Dandy Miguel was shot dead in the eve of March 28, in Canlubang, Calamba in Laguna.

Three weeks before this, COPLAN ASVAL, more infamously known as “Bloody Sunday,” happened, leaving nine progressive individuals brutally killed all across the Southern Tagalog region.

March 30, 2021:

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) Gitnang Luzon says that May Arcilla, a Karapatan Central Luzon paralegal, was among those arrested by elements of Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and Philippine National Police (PNP) in Central Luzon this morning.

The alliance said that Arcilla was arrested alongside Pol Viuya, chairperson of BAYAN Gitnang Luzon and Workers Alliance of Region 3 (WAR-3) in Bamban, Tarlac. Alyansa ng Magbubukid Gitnang Luson (AMGL) chair and Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) vice chair Joseph Canlas was also served an arrest warrant, and was last reported to have been taken to Camp Olivas in San Fernando, Pampanga.

March 31, 2021:

Bayan Gitnang Luzon Chairperson, Pol Viuya, was taken to court as reported by a concerned citizen around 2:30pm today, Bayan Gitnang Luzon says.Counsel and relatives of Viuya weren’t informed of his transfer and raised suspicions that courts are only open half-day today.

A private lawyer and Viuya’s daughter returned to Camp Macabulos to investigate. This happened after the release of Karapatan Gitnang Luzon paralegal, May Arcilla, for further investigation along with private lawyers and relatives from camp.

(Related story: Zambales 12, nakalaya na matapos i-redtag, iharas ng pulis) [P]

Photo from Kabataan Partylist Laguna / Facebook

2 comments on “Central Luzon peasant leader Joseph Canlas dies more than a month after arrest

  1. Pingback: Progressives reflect on Terror Law 1 year since passage – UPLB Perspective

  2. Pingback: Political prisoner Antonio Molina in critical medical condition; progressives call for immediate release – UPLB Perspective

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