Urgent Appeal for Action: Surface NDF consultant Lora T. Manipis and Jeruel Domingo!

Dear friends and colleagues,

 

We urgently seek your support in demanding that the Philippine military immediately surface National Democratic Front of the Philippines peace consultant Lora T. Manipis and her husband, Jeruel B. Domingo, who have both been missing since February 24, 2018.

We have every reason to believe that the military is behind their forced disappearances, goaded on by their Commander-in-Chief, President Rodrigo Duterte, who had been raring to annihilate revolutionary movements while suppressing legitimate dissent in all fronts under the counter insurgency program, Oplan Kapayapaan.

Enforced disappearances are one of the brutal and heartbreaking violations of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and the International Humanitarian Law or CARHRIHL. Time is an enemy, as the disappeared maybe suffering from intense torture, or may have already been executed by state forces. The sad fact is, one may never know.

In this light, join us as we reiterate our demand for the immediate surfacing of Lora T. Manipis and Jeruel B. Domingo. We share in the anguish of their families, comrades and friends. No person should experience this inhuman treatment of political dissenters.

While President Duterte has directed the government’s peace panel to pave the way for the resumption of the peace talks, the Filipino people contend with the regime’s repressive and brutal attacks. This does not bode well for the peace talks. 

We hold President Duterte fully accountable for the disappearances of Manipis and Domingo. This politics of terror and tyranny in the face of people’s resistance must end. Martial law in Mindanao must end as it breeds horrendous cases of human rights violations. 

 

ACCOUNT OF INCIDENT

 

Lora Manipis and husband Jeruel Domingo visited their children in Makilala, North Cotabato from February 19-23, 2018.

On February 23, Manipis and Domingo went to Kidapawan City on board a motorcycle to arrange for transportation. They were bound for an activity related to the peace process. At around 6pm, they got off along the main street in the city, in front of a bank. They asked a motorcycle driver to negotiate with another driver of a public utility Toyota Hi-Ace van from the Overland Terminal, to bring them to Kabacan, North Cotabato. They also sent messages to a relative taking care of their children that they will be heading to a meeting on February 24.

This was the last time that Manipis and Domingo were seen or heard from. After that, their families, comrades and friends have not been able to contact them. On April 8, 2018, the NDFP Far Southern Mindanao released a statement on the couple’s disappearance, raising the possibility that both may have already been executed by state forces, or are suffering under intense torture. 

Prior to this incident, the eldest daughter of Manipis and Domingo had been harassed by a police officer in 2016. The daughter was interrogated about her mother’s whereabouts. Family members of Manipis also reported that they were subjected to military surveillance for the past two years.

Lora T. Manipis is a consultant of the National Democratic Front Philippines in Far Southern Mindanao Region. She was a former student activist before she joined the New People’s Army, while her husband, Jeruel B. Domingo, is a commander of the New People’s Army. Prior to their disappearances, they were holding activities related to the peace process and investigating the effects of the large-scale mining operations of X-Strata mining corporation in Tampacan, South Cotabato.

Under the past regimes, NDFP consultants Leo Velasco, Rogelio Calubad, Prudencio Calubid and NDF staff members Philip Lijoco, Leopoldo Ancheta, Federico Intise and his wife Nelly were also victims of enforced disappearances. Their cases remain unsolved.

Manipis, as an NDFP consultant, is supposedly immune from arrest and other forms of attacks as stipulated in the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), that is supposed to protect her rights and safety even when peace talks are suspended. 

 

Recommended Actions

 

Send letters, emails or fax messages calling for:

 

1. The Armed Forces of the Philippines to surface Lora T. Manipis and Jeruel B. Domingo and to open all camps and safe houses to relatives of the couple, human rights organizations and institutions, and the Commission on Human Rights for inspection;

2. Effectively address and immediately prosecute and punish acts of terrorism and human rights violations by agents of the State; 

3. End the counter-insurgency program Oplan Kapayapaan which directs and funds State security forces to enforce disappearances, threaten, harass, arbitrarily and illegally arrest individuals tagged as “enemies of the State”;

4. The Philippine Government to continue the peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and comply with its obligations and commitments under the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG); and

5. The Philippine Government to adhere and respect the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, and all major Human Rights instruments that it is a party and signatory.

 

You may send your communications to:

 

H.E. Rodrigo Duterte

President of the Republic

Malacañang Palace,

JP Laurel St., San Miguel

Manila Philippines

Voice: (+632) 564 1451 to 80, 784-4286

Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968

E-mail: op-proper.gov.ph or send message through

https://op-proper.gov.ph/contact-us/

 

Hon. Jesus Dureza

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process

Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP)

7th Floor Agustin Building I

Emerald Avenue

Pasig City 1605

Voice:+63 (2) 637-6083; 636-0701 to 07

Fax:+63 (2) 638 2216

Email: peace.opapp@gmail.com, feedback@opapp.net 

 

 

Ret. Maj. Gen. Delfin Lorenzana

Secretary, Department of National Defense

Room 301 DND Building, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo,

E. de los Santos Avenue, Quezon City

Voice:+63(2) 911-6193 / 911-0488 / 982-5600

Fax:+63(2) 982-5600

Email: publicaffairs.dnd@gmail.com

 

Hon. Menardo Guevarra

Secretary, Department of Justice

Padre Faura St., Manila

Direct Line 521-8344; 5213721

Trunkline: 523 8481 to 98 loc.214

Fax: (+632) 521-1614

Email: communications@doj.gov.ph

 

Hon. Jose Luis Martin Gascon

Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights

SAAC Bldg., UP Complex, Commonwealth Avenue

Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines

Voice: (+632) 928-5655, 926-6188, 377-2477

Fax: (+632) 929 0102

Email: chairgascon.chr@gmail.com 

 

Please send us a copy of your email/mail/fax to the above-named government officials, to our address below:

KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights

National Office

2/F Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin cor Matatag Sts., Brgy. Central,

Diliman, Quezon City 1100 PHILIPPINES

Voice/Fax: (+632) 435 4146

Email: urgentaction@karapatan.org; karapatan@karapatan.org 

Website: www.karapatan.org