Filipino activists and journalists detained at NutriAsia plant protests in Bulacan

A mother’s worry after seeing her son arrested.

“I can’t help but cry and feel the pain of my son and hiyas. What kind of justice is that?”

Amy Tandoc’s son Eric and his wife Hiyas Saturay were among the 19 people arrested during the violent dispersal of the NutriAsia picket lines on Monday night.

The Long Beach-based activists and journalists were covering the two-month-long standoff between the company behind popular Philippine condiments and its workers.

Members of Anakbayan US woke up to news of the violent dispersal of picket lines at the NutriAsia plant in Bulacan.

NutriAsia says the protest turned violent when a shot was fired, and rocks were thrown at police.

Authorities claim one of those arrested had a gun and drugs.

With their strong ties in Southern California, activist groups — some of which Tandoc founded and led — rallied outside the Philippine consulate Monday night.

“We are here to make some noise all the way in LA for our comrades, as well as the rest of the 17 that have been unjustly detained,” says Nikole Cababa from BAYAN.

The family has not been able to get a hold of the detained couple.

“Were they read their rights before they were arrested? Were they asked to get a phone call or something? I don’t know what other trumped-up cases did they do that made them arrested? I’m sure both of them never smoke. They never do drugs,” says Amy. “If he doesn’t get enough iron in him, in his diet he might pass out and need blood transfusion; he also has a sinus problem that’s aggravated.”

As the detained workers face charges, activists have also begun petitions to ask for their release.

Aside from the Philippine consulate, family members and activists will also be meeting with US officials including their US Congressman.

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