Private guards of Jarton Security Agency swept into a kampuhan of residents of Tartaria in Silang, Cavite past midnight on Saturday to fence off an area covered by a land dispute there.

They also confiscated the personal property of people at the kampuhan, including the equipment of Jose Monsieur Santos, a freelance photojournalist and member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, who was covering the land dispute.

According to reports, the issue of ownership of the land is still pending at the Supreme Court and the Department of Agrarian Reform.

Santos said he had put his equipment, including a Kevlar helmet and his camera, down past midnight to sleep but was awakened at 2 a.m. because of tension between the security guards and residents of Tartaria.

“Pagsapit ng 2:30AM ay binabakuran na ng tauhan ng security ang mga unclaimed na mga lupa ng mga residente at tinangay ang aming kagamitan,” he said.

Santos said he identified himself as a journalist and has been negotiating with security guards since 6 a.m. to get his equipment back.

We protest the arbitrary confiscation of our colleague’s means of livelihood and demand the immediate return of all of his equipment in good and working condition.

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