MANILA — Assistant Minority Leader and Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Arlene Brosas condemned the abduction and disappearance of sugar field workers Alfred Manalo and Lloyd Descallar Tuesday (28 March 2023) outside the Medical Center – Western Batangas in Balayan by suspected state forces.
Sugarfolks Unity for Genuine Agricultural Reform Batangas (SUGAR) volunteers Manalo and Descallar have been reaching out to sugar workers and planters to help them receive relief assistance from various government agencies as a result of the closure of Central Azucarera Don Pedro Inc. (CADPI) sugar mill in Nasugbu, Batangas.
“Prior to the abduction, we have received reports that the sugar field workers have experienced harassment from the military and police while conducting mass consultations with stakeholders in Batangas. Imbis na tulungan ng gobyerno, tinatakot pa sila habang nag-aabot ng tulong sa mga apektadong komunidad,” Rep. Brosas said.
Gabriela Women’s Party recently filed House Resolution 785 to conduct an inquiry on the closure of CADPI and its effects on sugar workers and farmers in Batangas.
“Hindi ito ang unang beses na nasangkot ang mga pulis at militar sa pagkawala ng mga peasant rights advocates. Kailangang itigil ang ganitong klaseng iskema ng armadong pwersa ng pamahalaan na manakot at mangdahas ng mga ordinaryong mamamayan na nananawagan lamang ng tulong at ayuda,” Rep. Brosas said.
“We call on the state security forces to surface Alfred Manalo and Lloyd Descallar, and end this violent trend of harassment, intimidation, and state-enforced abduction of human rights advocates,” she ended.