Stop crackdown on activists: Pangilinan

Activists are ordinary citizens who actively engage the state to fulfill its duty to the people. They actively exercise their right to demand public service and accountability. A responsible government does not respond to these engagements and demands with force, violence, or even criminal acts.

This is why the recent arrests of activists in Negros and Metro Manila, where some of those arrested were just bystanders and even minors, are especially worrisome. Bayan Muna and their affiliates said the confiscated pieces of evidence were planted, a troubling trend in the alleged crackdown on illegal drugs.

We condemn these arrests and raids, an appalling continuation of the apparent state policy to decimate any opposition to its wrong-headed policies like the fake but nonetheless deadly drug war.

The state exists to uphold and protect the rights of its citizens, not to destroy them.