Demand Release Of Renante Gamara

     

 

Last April 3, Renante “Nante” Gamara was grabbed by eight men in civilian clothes, who later introduced themselves as members of Criminal Investigation and Detection Group- National Capital Region (CIDG-NCR) and Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP), together with his companion, Santiago Balleta at the parking space of a mall in Las Pinas City. They were handcuffed, blindfolded and hauled to separate private vehicles. They were brought to the Philippine National Police Headquarters in Camp Crame and held in custody on the basis of a fabricated and manipulated warrant of arrest ridiculously linking them to a kidnapping with murder case which was filed against a certain “Ka Mike” and 38 other aliases on May 2007 in Mauban, Quezon. The said warrant was amended on March 23, 2012, claiming that the certain “Ka Mike” is Renante Gamara.

It is alarming that anyone can be charged of criminal cases for simply linking aliases to persons like Renate Gamara and many other political activists and human rights defenders. We are deeply concerned that the illegal arrest and prolonged detention is because of his long history and activities of defending the rights and welfare of the workers and of the poor.

Renate Gamara was a worker at the General Motors Philippines- a multinational automobile company in 1978 and on May 1, 1980, he was one of the thousands of workers and leaders who founded Kilusang Mayo Uno along with his mentor Crispin Ka Bel Beltran. As a car worker and union officer in GM, he also pioneered in union building and solidarity among other workers. He was a union organizer in drug and food, Solidmills, Toyota Motors and Philippine Airlines.

Renante Gamara, also fondly called Tatay Nante, is no criminal – he is a loving family man and one hero who have consistently dedicated his life in service to the Filipino people. He has inherited these values from his parents who are church servants in the province of Batangas. He is married to a loving wife and they have three children who all share his advocacy of improving the lives of the poor and the oppressed.

We call on to H.E. Benigno S. Aquino III and to all of his concerned executive offices to immediately and unconditionally release Renante Gamara.  It is more than a disgrace that this administration has not managed to set itself apart from the previous administrations that repressed legitimate expressions of dissent and acts of public service. Yours is infamy for persecuting human rights defenders while letting human rights violators like Gen. Jovito Palparan flee.

If this administration reserves enough goodwill at pursuing peace and prosperity for our country, then it must resist all attempts at disrupting and criminalizing legitimate work for a just, free and prosperous society.

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