Ateneo students slam PNP on activist arrest

By Rhaydz B. Barcia


THE Ateneo de Naga University Supreme Student Government (AdNU-SSG) and various student organizations strongly condemned the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Bicol for its blatant attack against student leaders and progressive activist by planting fake evidences to justify the their arrests.


In a statement released on Monday, May 3, by at least 20 student organizations, it said that the arrests of Sasah Sta. Rosa, 21, ADNU student and spokesperson of Jovenes Anakbayan, Justine Mesias, a campus journalist and student of Bicol University as well as spokesperson of Youth Act Now Against Tyranny (YANAT) Bicol, and Pastor Dan Balucio, 61, Bayan Bicol secretary general were improper.


“We believe that the gun and explosive device were evidence planted by the police to provide basis for such arrests. This signifies a threat to the safety of the students and the whole community,” the statement said.


Sta Rosa, the former department head of People’s Rights and Welfare of AdNU-SSG, was arrested at around 3:00 AM on May 2 in their residence at Villa Obiedo, Barangay Cararayan, Naga City.


The AdNU-SSG also urged the school’s management to express its aversion to the unfortunate events especially to ensure the safety of Sasah.


“We call for the administration to offer all the possible assistance that she might need at this time. The AdNU SSG calls for the students to continue fighting for their rights and the rights of their countrymen. We call for the students to continue exercising their conscience in seeking for social justice. We are always with you,” the statement said.


“May we not lose our voices in fighting for the rights that every Filipino deserves. The AdNU SSG will stay committed in offering assistance to Sasah Sta. Rosa until she is freed from this illegal action. We would like to remind our fellow students and citizens to take care and be the strength for each other,” the statement said.


Among the student organizations that expressed their strong support for Sasah, Justine and Pastor Dan are the: Ateneo Banking and Finance Association; Ateneo College of Sciences and Engineering-Student Council; Ateneo de Naga Biology Majors; Ateneo de Naga Supreme Student Government; Ateneo Film Society; Ateneo Junior Marketing Association; Ateneo Society of Entrepreneurs; BANHI for Environmental Sustainability; Bicolana Gabriela Youth; Junior Ateneo Business Managers’ Association; Legal Management Institute of Ateneo de Naga University; Liga ng mga Estudyante sa Agham Politika; Naga City School of Arts and Trades - Supreme Student Government; Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers Ateneo de Naga University; Rotaract Club of Naga-Ateneo Chapter; The Ateneo Consortium of Technological, Information and Computing Sciences; The Pillars Publication; Tourismo Ateneo; Youth Alliance for Human Rights Ateneo, and University of Nueva Caceres Student Government.


The Anakbayan Naga City in a statement said that Sasah is a victim of improper implementation of the search warrant and is being detained after their house was searched for about 40 minutes by policemen, who afterwards came out with a bag containing guns, grenade and a red flag.


“Sasah is a good student, a good leader, and a good citizen, as evidenced by the sentiments of her fellows, which is grossly out of her character to possess such violent arms,” the Anakbayan Naga City said.