State charges 5 development workers and human rights defenders in Negros with "terrorism financing"

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The Paghida-et sa Kauswagan” Development Group Incorporated (PDG Inc) deemed as unjust the filing of cases of “terrorism financing” or violation of the Terrorism Financing and Suppression Act of 2012 against some of their active and former members. It asserts that the state is using these allegations to delegitimize the organization and sanction it.

A case was filed against Clarissa Ramos, widow of the murdered lawyer Atty. Benjamin Ramos; Felipe Levy Gelle, Federico Salvilla, and Perla Pavillar. Ramos, like her late lawyer husband, once served as executive director and was a founder of PDG Inc. Also arbitrarily charged was Darryl Albañez, who is not a member of PDG Inc, but was involved in many of the group’s activities.

The PDG said the accused individuals are an integral part of their organization and have dedicated their time to developing communities and promoting development programs.

The Human Rights Advocates Negros (HRAN) statement said the representatives of the Department of Justice, along with police, served the subpoena to the accused at their respective houses and at the office of PDG Inc in Binicuil, Kabankalan City on April 29.

The case was filed by PMSG Francisco John Dumdumaya, deputized Anti-money Laundering Council Financial Investigator and member of the Regional Intelligence Division of the PNP Regional Police Office 6. It is based on the sworn statements of Jonel Roy Moreno, the self-identified “finance and logistics officer and commander” of the “Tahod Ilahas Command of the CPP-NPA” allegedly operating in Negros, and of Danilo and Jeonna Dela Cruz who identified themselves as members of the local fishermen’s association in Cauyan, Negros Occidental.

“These attacks on the PDG have intensified in recent years starting with the assassination of Atty. Ramos Jr, its executive director in 2018, and now with the charges of “terrorism financing,” according to HRAN.

PDG Inc is an organization in the central and southern part of Negros Island and promotes the rights of farmers and fishermen for sustainable agriculture and social reform. The organization was founded in the 1980s.

AB: State charges 5 development workers and human rights defenders in Negros with "terrorism financing"