Karapatan slams arrest of urban poor activist in Duterte’s fake terror list

Karapatan condemns the arrest of Ruby Lacadman yesterday, March 29, 2018 at her residence in Brgy. Cacutud, Mabalacat City, Pampanga. Lacadman, a member of Kadamay, an alliance of urban poor communities, was apprehended by elements of the police and military by virture of a warrant of arrest for murder for “Ruby Palabrica y Quitason” issued on October 12, 2017. She was brought to the Mabalacat police station. As of this writing, Lacadman is set to be transferred to Cadiz, City, Negros Occidental where she will be reportedly presented to the court on Monday. Lacadman is among the activists presumably included in the Justice Department’s proscription petition which contained a list of more than 600 names. 

Ruby Lacadman 

*Photo of Ruby Lacadman by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan - Gitnang Luson 

“The filing of the proscription petition last February 2018 gave rise to an intensified crackdown against activists and members of progressive organizations. A month later, those fears are substantiated by the arrest of Ruby Lacadman. Duterte’s vindictive government, through his fake terror list, is clamping down on the critics of his anti-people policies. This is an indefensible assault and a brazen curtailment of people’s civil and political rights. The Duterte regime is weaponizing the agencies at his disposal – all the departments, the courts, the police and the military – to persecute all his critics, undoubtedly the mark of a tyrannical regime,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.

Lacadman was allegedly implicated in a murder case in Cadiz City in 2010. In Duterte’s terror list, she was alleged as a former member of the finance bureau of the Komiteng Rehiyon ng Negros (KRN) and a current member of the Regional White Area Committee (RWAC). Palabay, however, reiterated, that “these allegations are unfounded. Lacadman worked then as the barangay secretary in Brgy. Cacutud. She was also a former staff of a church-based program in Angeles City, Pampanga. Prior to her arrest, she has been working as an urban poor organizer under Kadamay.”

“It is incumbent upon us to emphasize that there is nothing wrong with activism. The persecution of activists and the filing of trumped-up charges against them reflect more on the quality and nature of the government,” Palabay emphasized.

“We demand the immediate release of Ruby Lacadman, and the immediate junking of Duterte’s fake terror list. Duterte, once a state prosecutor, is now the top state persecutor. Not only has he ignored the legitimate demands raised by activists and progressive groups, he proudly treads the path towards dictatorship. We are all put at risk by Duterte’s maneuvers. With the arrest of Lacadman, the Duterte regime is once again showing its seriousness in facilitating acts of reprisal, veiled under malicious tagging, against those who have actively tried to engage his government and call him out on the numerous rights violations committed under his directive, complicity, and tolerance,” concluded Palabay.

Reference: Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, 0917-3162831

Karapatan Public Information Desk, 0918-9790580