Military Investigates Case Of Abducted Farmers In South RP

August 15, 2007 at 9:32 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

IPIL, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / 15 Aug) – The Philippine military is investigating the disappearance of three members of militant group linked to communist rebels in the restive southern region.

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) said the three — Antonino Roda, 39; Eric Buhain, 23; and Julius Sango, 21 — were all farmers seized by armed men this month while traveling on a commuter van in Guipos town in Zamboanga del Sur province.

“We have not received any report about this, but we will investigate it right away,” Colonel Jovencio Magalso, commander of the Army’s 102nd Infantry Brigade, told the Mindanao Examiner on Wednesday.

The three are also members of the Anakpawis’ party list group previously linked by Filipino authorities to the New People’s Army rebels.

The AHJRC, quoting reports from the local human rights group called Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights (Karapatan), said the three men — on their way to the neighboring town of Dinas — were abducted along a highway on Aug. 3 by several men riding on motorcycles.

It said four gunmen stopped the van and forced the three men, including two women passengers, to another vehicle and sped off towards Dumalinao town.

The gunmen then freed the two women whom they thought were also activists. It was only after the female passengers reported the abduction to the authorities that the incident was made known.

The whereabouts of the victims remain unknown and there has been no effort or investigation by the police to locate them, it said.

In April, Jonas Joseph Burgos, a trainer of a peasant organization, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (Peasant Movement of the Philippines) went missing following his abduction inside a restaurant in Caloocan City in Luzon island by gunmen.

Also the same month, a member of a peasant group called Kagimungan, Alan Bumanglag, was also abducted by armed men in Cagayan province, north of Luzon.

In another case, Romualdo Balbuena, was abducted by gunmen on February from his house in Quinapondan in Eastern Samar in central Philippines. None of the cases has been solved so far.

There were hundreds of unresolved cases of disappearance and murder of political activists in the country since 2001 and militant groups blamed the government and security forces for all these.

Authorities have denied the allegations and blamed the NPA for the murder of the activists, who were suspected as spy. (Mindanao Examiner)

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