The Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) condemns the politically-motivated arrest of Walden Bello by the Philippine authorities. We call for the immediate and unconditional release of Walden Bello.
Walden Bello, former vice-presidential candidate and Chairperson of the Laban ng Masa, was arrested today (8th August 2022) by the police 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 early this year. Walden Bello was the candidate for Vice President under the ticket of the Party of Laboring Masses (PLM) as the running mate of PLM’s presidential candidate Leody de Guzman. During the election campaign, Walden Bello was already facing life-threatening harassment from the Hugpong ng Pagbabago party led by Sara Duterte.
The latest arrest of Walden Bello is clearly a political persecution of political opponents under the authoritarian Marcos-Duterte regime. The cyber libel charges used against Walden Bello is a tactic that had been used by the previous Rodrigo Duterte administration targeting its critics. The current Marcos-Duterte government is continuing the legacy of Rodrigo Duterte in suppressing political opponents and curtailing democratic spaces.
We urge the Philippine authorities to immediately release Walden Bello and drop all charges against him.
Free Walden Bello now!
Choo Chon Kai
Parti Sosialis Malaysia
8th August 2022