Socialist Alliance condemns the arrest of Walden Bello

Vice Presidential candidate Walden Bello. Photo: Laban ng Masa/Facebook

Socialist Alliance condemns the politically motivated arrest of Walden Bello by the Marcos government in the Philippines.

Walden Bello is a reowned international scholar and political activist with a long history of involvement in the Filipino left and is the chairperson of socialist coalition Laban ng Masa.

On August 8, Walden Bello was arrested by the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) for two counts of cyber libel.

The cyber libel charges were filed against Walden Bello by the former aide of the current Vice President Sara Duterte at the height of the election campaign period earlier this year where Walden Bello ran as the candidate for Vice President under the ticket of the Party of Labouring Masses (PLM).

The persecution of Walden Bello through these charges is politically motivated because of his open criticism and stance against the Marcos government. The subsequent arrest of Walden Bello represents a fundamental attack on human rights and freedom of speech within the Philippines.

This arrest of Bello is another example of the authoritarian nature of the Macros-Dutere regime which has a track record of consistently putting restrictions on democratic rights and freedom of speech and has openly persecuted political opponents and criticism of the regime.

Socialist Alliance calls for the immediate release of Walden Bello and for all charges against him to be dropped.

[This statement was adopted by the Socialist Alliance national executive on August 9]