Wedding filmmaker Jason Magbanua bared that his eldest son was among those who were arrested without warrant during a cultivation activity or “bungkalan” in Tarlac.
Over 80 people, including farmers, supporters and students, were arrested on Thursday, June 9 over a land feud in a place called Hacienda Tinang in Concepcion town in Tarlac.
AlterMidya, a network of progressive media outfits, live-streamed the incident on Facebook.
It could still be accessed as of writing.
Photos showing how cops manhandled farmers and other volunteers were uploaded on social media.
LOOK: May 90 magsasaka & agrarian reform advocates ang inaresto ng pulis sa Hacienda Tinang, Tarlac ngayong Hunyo 9.
Agrarian reform beneficiaries ang mga magsasaka rito, at matagal nang hinihintay na ipagkaloob ang lupain sa kanila. Halos 3 dekada na silang nagsasaka sa lupa. pic.twitter.com/d5CJPCLXQ2
— AlterMidya (@altermidya) June 9, 2022
‘Walang kasong maaaring isampa’
Based on reports, the individuals who were taken were members of Makisama Tinang, a group of agrarian reform beneficiaries.
Magbanua later posted on Facebook that his eldest son Jakob was among those who were taken by the police.
He also asked the cops to show mercy to the detained students, including his son.
“Sa mga kapulisan jan sa Concepcion, Tarlac, Pag-ingatan niyo po mga detainees niyo. Ilan po jan ay estudyante pa. Dumalaw yan sa Tarlac na walang ibang balak kundi magbungkal ng lupa at tumulong sa magsasaka. Kabilang jan ang panganay kong anak,” Magbanua said.
“Wala pong kaso na maaring isampa jan,” he added.
Magbanua also noted that he is still in contact with his son at that time.
He also sought help from his followers to tag those who can help their release.
In the comments section, Magbanue left an update on Friday morning, June 10 that no charges have yet been filed against them.
“Update. Wala pa rin charges na na-file,” he said.
The College of Editors Guild of the Philippines confirmed that Tarlac police took five campus journalists from the following schools:
- College Editors Guild of the Philippines-Central Luzon
- The Angelite of Holy Angel University
- The Work of Tarlac State University
The CEGP stated that the participants of the cultivation activity were brought to the Tarlac Provincial Office, Concepcion Police Station.
According to a report, three students from Saint Louis University and the University of the Philippines Baguio, and three members of the youth group Kabataan Partylist Cordillera (KPL) were detained.
Other individuals arrested
Community pantry organizer Ana Patricia Non or Patreng Non also called for help to release the detainees, some of whom are her close friends.
“Marami po sa kanila ay mga volunteers at kasama din po ang mga personal ko na kaibigan at orgmates. Marami po sa kanila ay ang mga visual artists, writers at theatre people,” Non said on Facebook.
“By 2 a.m. po illegally detained na po sila. Panawagan po natin ang kanilang agarang paglaya. Magtulungan po tayo na makarating po ito sa ating mga kinauukulan,” she added.
Non said that they just volunteered for peaceful community farming when authorities accused them of being members of the New People’s Army without proof.
“93 katao po sila naka-detain ngayon at pinagbintangan sila na mga miyembro NPA dahil sila ay nag-organize ng community farming bilang pakikiisa sa mga magsasaka. Naging marahas din po ang mapayapa sana nilang bungkalan para sa pagkain nung nanggulo daw po ang mga kapulisan,” she said.
The Sama-samang Artista para sa Kilusang Agraryo or SAKA, an artist group, later issued a statement that nearly 50 Filipino artists who participated in the ‘bungkalan’ were among those who were apprehended at the site.
SAKA called for help from their colleagues in the industry to help free the detainees.
“Your solidarity—expressed as publicly issued statements—can add pressure to state forces harassing us for doing little more than standing with farmers, understanding their hardship, and exposing not just the ills that plague them but also the triumphs of their collective struggle,” the group said.