after the hearing of one of the 11 trumped-up charges against him at Regional Trial Court Branch 29 in Bulanao, Tabuk, Kalinga, GABRIEL KENNEDY BANGIBANG, consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) on Cordillera and National Minority Affairs was seized by Bureau of Prisons and Jail Management (BJMP) policemen for immediate transport to Baguio City. Bangibang resisted and asked for an explanation and the necessary court orders for the transfer, but the policemen just forced him into the vehicle that would transport him. Bangibang’s relatives also attempted to prevent the policemen from taking him but they were violently shoved aside by the policemen. At around 10:30 a.m. today, Bangibang was transported out of Tabuk. None of his relatives were allowed to accompany him. Bangibang’s relatives later found out that a Court Order had been issued three months ago, on the 19th of April, by RTC Branch 29 Judge Marcelino K. Wacas for Bangibang’s transfer. Bangibang’s counsels, Attorneys Rito Bungaoen and Francis Calsiyao, did not receive any copy of the Order until this morning - 30 minutes and hour after Bangibang was taken. The Order shows that Bangibang’s transfer had been requested by BJMP Tabuk Warden Crispin M. Dornagon, Jr. on the premise that his jail was not secure enough to hold what he referred to as a “high risk” inmate. Dornagon also requested that Bangibang’s hearing venue also be moved to Baguio. Bangibang’s relatives now fear for his safety. We condemn the intentional irregularities in the process of transferring Kennedy Bangibang to Baguio. He was forced to be transported like he was being abducted as necessary papers were not given to him or his counsels. Bangibang, his counsels and his family were unjustly deprived of the information regarding the court order for transfer for three months. They were also deprived of the right to respond to appeal the court order for the transfer. The authorities that are behind this should be held accountable. We raise serious concern over his security and safety while on transit. We are currently monitoring his arrival in Baguio City based on the time of his departure from Tabuk, Kalinga. We also raise serious concern that this transfer is a ploy to disrupt the hearings of his cases and to lengthen Bangibang’s unjust detention. One of the cases against Bangibang was dismissed this morning before the transfer took place. We will hold the State and the unit from the BJMP-Kalinga accountable if any harm is done to Bangibang or if there are more irregularities in the transfer committed. The existence of political prisoners in this country and the State’s treatment of them continue to show the failure of the Philippine government to adhere to its obligations to respect human rights. # For reference: Jude Baggo Secretary General Mobile nos. 09189199007, 09168312391