Anakbayan cries foul over alleged harassment, attacks

Jeck Batallones, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 22 2023 04:26 PM

This surveillance footage shows a man looking into the window of the Anakbayan's office in Sampaloc, Manila, which the group said was broken into on Jan. 15, 2023. Video courtesy of Anakbayan via Jeck Batallones, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — Progressive group Anakbayan on Sunday cried foul over incidents of alleged coordinated harassment and attacks against them.

Anakbayan national spokesperson Jeanne Miranda said that on Jan. 15, a yet-identified suspect broke into their office in Sampaloc, Manila. She claimed there were signs of forced entry.

"Una iyong pinto as if may forced entry. Pangalawa po, iyong mga gamit na maayos, naka-organize siya sa table namin which is iyong table na ginagamit namin for our work. Iyong mga gamit doon ay nakakalat na," she told ABS-CBN News in a phone interview.

Miranda noted that they did not consider the incident a case of theft, since nothing was missing or stolen.

Photo courtesy of Anakbayan
Photo courtesy of Anakbayan

"Kung theft siya, sana kinuha na muna mga cellphone na nandoon kasi iyon ang valuable... It's as if na meron lang po silang hinanap na bagay, di po namin alam kung ano po hinahanap nila," she added. 

Miranda also noted that the break-in happened a few days after Cebu-based activists Dyan Gumanao and Armand Dayoha went missing after spending the holidays with their families. The 2 have since been found, claiming that they had been abducted upon arrival in Cebu from Mindanao.

Other Anakbayan members also shared other incidents of unidentified men allegedly "tailing" and "photographing" them after protests around Metro Manila.

Miranda said their group considers these as attacks and not coincidence, as these were "not isolated cases."

She said Anakbayan sought the help of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to investigate the incidents, which have prompted the rights body to express "serious alarm."

"These allegations of intrusion into a person’s right to privacy by means of surveillance must not be taken lightly. CHR has taken cognizance of this case for investigation," it said in a statement.

The human rights body vowed to probe the incidents, but also urged government authorities to look into the matter.

Miranda said that with the help of CHR, Anakbayan plans to file formal complaints before the Philippine National Police on the said incidents this week.


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