Soldier disguised as a local government employee surveils mass leaders in Rizal

This article is available in Pilipino

Soldier Ssg. Marvin Lagua of the 2nd ID, went from house to house in Barangay San Isidro, Antipolo City, Rizal since February 5 and has been inquiring about mass leaders of the progressive movement in Rizal. According to the report by Karapatan-Rizal, Lagua was in plainclothes and pretended to be Jerwin Lencinas, an employee of Antipolo City Hall to carry out the surveillance. The soldier allegedly gathered mass leaders’ personal information and cell phone numbers from neighbors.

Among those Lagua surveilled were members and leaders of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan)-Rizal, Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay)-Rizal, and Anakpawis Partylist Rizal. The soldier even showed photos to the residents to identify his targets. The soldier specifically wanted to track down Tatay Henry, the provincial coordinator of Anakpawis Partylist-Rizal. He insised that he only wanted to “talk” to the organizer to encourage him to “clear his name.”

According to the Karapatan-Rizal statement, he also asked neighbors about Tatay Henry’s whereabouts. At the same time, the neighbors noticed unknown masked men loitering and surveilling the organizer’s residence. Apart from this, it was also reported that the soldiers spied on Tatay Henry’s friends and other associates who visited him. Tatay Henry has previously experienced a similar spying scheme last November 29, 2023.

“The tactics of the AFP’s 2nd ID and the PNP are shameful and degrading, as they seem to be competing among themselves who can coerce their targets and fake their surrender,” according to Karapatan-Rizal. Apart from this, the military’s use of the local government’s name and its employees for surveillance is a usurpation of a civilian authority. The use of this tactic has been intensified by the National Task Force-Elcac.

AB: Soldier disguised as a local government employee surveils mass leaders in Rizal