Attack against Anti-Nuke Activist Condemned

Yesterday afternoon, elements of 303rd PMG nabbed anti-nuke activist Archie Bathan in Samal Bataan, while waiting for an anti-nuke youth forum. In the process, the military ‘discovered’ arms and subversive documents allegedly in his possession.

We strongly condemn the attack against anti-nuke activist Archie Bathan, a leader of Youth for Nationalism and Democracy (YND)-Bataan. The province of Bataan is once more gaining prominence with Congressman Mark Cojuangco’s bid to re-commission the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP).
We believe that the military planted the arms and subversive documents in order to implicate Bathan.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time that the military has attacked young human rights defenders like Bathan. We have not forgotten what happened to Audie Lucero, a nineteen year old member of YND  found  face down in a rice field, summarily executed a day before Valentine’s Day in 2006. He was last seen in the company of military and police in Balanga, Bataan.

As for two others who were said to be with Bathan, surely they were talking about the campaign. We as anti-nuke activists talk with anyone on the basis of the anti-BNPP campaign.

We are not surprised that many have lost faith in our law enforcement agencies when they dirty their hands with human rights violations.

For the record, Youth for Nationalism and Democracy (YND) is a national mass organization of youth and students committed to upholding genuine freedom and democratic rights and welfare, taking their inspiration from national hero Jose Rizal and the First Propagandists.

YND has made concrete its nationalist stance in various issues since it was formed. It has taken up student concerns like tuition fee increase, rationalization of state colleges and universities (SCUs), commercialization of education, campus repression. Also, its commitment to unite the youth and serve the people extend to taking on issues of a broader perspective like  the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), the on-going war in Mindanao, Charter Change, E-VAT, oil deregulation law among others.

Bathan has  been with YND during his student days in Baguio, organizing the University of the Cordilleras ( formerly known as Baguio College Foundation), and in coming back to his home province, organizing for YND at Bataan Heroes’ Memorial College and in the Bataan Peninsula State University.

His anti-nuke engagement is only logical for a socially-involved individual like him.

We believe that this is a crackdown aimed at cooling the fiery protest of the people of Bataan and other advocates, perpetuated by the GMA government and its military as well as pro-nuke forces deeply entrenched in the present system.

Force of might and guns are their answer to the irrefutable facts surrounding the BNPP and the bitter reality of nuclear energy which remains the most expensive and damaging energy alternative known to man.

Indeed, the pro-nukes have every right to be concerned, since in just a short time, the anti-nuke debate was quickly elevated as a national concern, with veterans and an ever-growing younger crop of anti-nuke advocates galvanized into action.

We demand the immediate and unconditional release of Bathan, the authorities have no reason to hold him. We will not be cowed not silenced by such brute attacks, but remain resolute and steadfast in our stance to uphold youth and students’ democratic rights and welfare as well as continue our efforts in raising awareness of young people against the falsehoods of nuclear power

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3 Responses to “Attack against Anti-Nuke Activist Condemned”
  1. PRESS STATEMENT
    May 29, 2009

    Rebel Tagging Makes Us Targets- KPD

    We strongly condemn the recent statement of the Senior Supt. Manuel Gaerlan, provincial director of Bataan PNP and the military on the illegal arrest of Archie Bathan, a leader of Youth for Nationalism and Democracy two days ago.

    In their news report to the media they have tagged Bathan as ‘chairman of Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya (KPD) Bataan, a legal front of armed group MLPP/ RHB.’

    This is an old trick of the military- branding and tagging legitimate people’s organizations like Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya (KPD) with armed rebel groups. We have seen this before in the case of Kathy Alcantara, extra-judicially killed in 2005, KPD Bataan Secretary-General and to Audie Lucero, YND member also extra-judicially killed a year later.

    In Philippine politics, legitimate people’s organizations exist alongside armed rebel groups, two different responses to the intense contradiction between those that oppress and those that are oppressed. They are two different things and cannot be logically considered as one in the same. In lumping unarmed human rights defenders such as those that belong to KPD and other people’s organizations with armed rebels, makes them more vulnerable as they are seen in the same league as armed rebels – easy prey to summary execution, abduction and torture.

    When law enforcers operate in this narrow mindset, human rights violations abound. This time, we will not let them wash their hands of culpability. We believe that what they did to Bathan constitute a violation of his human rights as well as a glaring shortcut of DUE PROCESS.

    For the record, Bathan is a member of YND, an affiliate organization of KPD which has been active in local as well as national issues like the Visiting Forces Agreement, Charter Change and recently the campaign directed against the re-commissioning of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant.

    We believe these attacks are directed against the growing clamor of rational Filipinos in the province of Bataan and beyond that the BNPP should be dismantled and that nuclear power will never be a safe, viable and desirable alternative under any circumstance.

    Reference:
    Chester Amparo, Secretary General KPD National – 0922 876 5851
    Aurora Broquil, Chairperson KPD Central Luzon – 0915 698 7277

  2. Excellent site, keep up the good work

  3. nyor says:

    PADAYON SA PAKIGBISOG PARA SA NASUDNONG DEMOKRASYA!!!!!!

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