Negros political prisoner, released after 4 years

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After more than four years in detention, Ma. Lindy Perocho was released from the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP)-Escalante City last March 6 after criminal charges against her was dismissed. Perocho, a National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW) member, was arrested in Escalante City on November 1, 2019, a day after the simultaneous raid on the offices of progressive organizations in Bacolod City. At least 57 activists and organizers were arbitrarily arrested during this simultaneous raid dubbed the “Negros crackdown.”

Perocho was charged after the police raided their office using a defective arrest warrant issued by Judge Cecilyn Burgos-Villavert of the Regional Trial Court Branch 89 in Quezon City.

She was suffering from kidney disease when arrested and detention aggravated her conditions. Arrested with her was Imelda Sultan, also an NFSW member, who is still in prison.

“The NFSW celebrates this victory against the state’s attacks on the people who organize and struggle especially the sugarcane workers,” said the NFSW-Negros. But the group said that despite this initial victory, they must condemn the illegal arrest of two farmers and other political prisoners.

“Let us also continue to call for the release of Sultan and other political prisoners. Likewise, all forms of state aggression must be stopped,” it added.

AB: Negros political prisoner, released after 4 years