Solons call for end to crackdown vs. Makabayan bloc, opposition

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(FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 14)— Lawmakers called for an end to the crackdown on the left-leaning Makabayan bloc and other opposition groups, saying such attacks have “no place in the democracy.”

Over 60 solons from the House of Representatives signed a petition Thursday condemning the attacks against the activist organizations. Members of the lower chamber said individuals should be “respected and protected as long as they act within the framework of the law.”

“The Makabayan bloc is a productive and dynamic part of the House Minority, whose members properly perform their role as credible fiscalizers of the administration, wholly within the bounds of the Constitution,” the petition read.

"We are united in expressing our concern on the attacks on the elected representatives, members, and supporters of the Makabayan bloc, and demad that these be stopped immediately. Such attacks have no place in a democracy,” it added.

Defense officials earlier tagged the Gabriela Women’s Party as a front for communist groups—an accusation the group and several non-government organizations denounced.

READ: Gabriela, NGOs slam red-tagging by AFP, Defense Dept.

Dozens of activists were also arrested in Bacolod earlier this month in simultaneous police raids of offices of progressive groups. Five days later, authorities also arrested three activists in a raid in Manila.

READ: Lawmaker tells gov’t: Stop targeting activists