UP students harassed by military

7 February 2012

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Three students of the University of the Philippines College of Social Work and Community Development (UPCSWCD) were harassed by military elements in Katutubo Village, Barangay Planas, Porac, Pampanga on January 21. The student--Rafael Antonio Dulce, Ricardo Louis Flores and Marie Gold Villar--were on field work in the area as part of their course requirements.

They were on their way to Camias, an upland barangay, accompanied by four Aeta children when they were accosted by AFP intelligence agents in plainclothes who were aboard a van. Four of the soldiers got off the van and demanded the students' names. The soldiers accused them of being organizers for the New People's Army and shouted accusations against them for the next hour. Dulce was even shoved by one of the soldiers who called himself "Chris" in an attempt to challenge him to a fistfight.

The students immediately reported the harassment to the nearest police station. They have temporarily withdrawn from the area to ensure their safety.

The soldiers posed as employees of "DPWH Region 3" but the commander of the CAFGU detachment in Barangay Camias identified them as elements of the Military Intelligence Battalion.

The Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas (KAMP) and the UPCSWCD have condemned the incident.