Youth activist abducted by armed intelligence units in Cagayan Valley, Philippines

 

Noriel Rodriguez, an ANAKBAYAN member and a youth volunteer of the peasant organization in Cagayan – Kagimungan – was on board a tricycle on his way to Brgy. Tapel, Gonzaga, Cagayan at around 5 pm of September 6, 2009.

At a waiting shed, along the national road going through Sitio Comunal, which was 3.5 kilometers away from Bgy. Batangan, four unidentified men in civilian clothes suddenly stopped the tricycle. Three of the men were armed with .45 caliber pistols. The armed men grabbed Rodriguez out of the tricycle and immediately pushed him unto a waiting red vehicle known to the locals as “spider car”.  The tricycle driver only remembers the last three digits (522) on the vehicle’s plate.

The tricycle driver was told by one of the men in vernacular, “You didn’t see anything”. 

When Rodriguez was already inside the “spider” vehicle one of the abductors wearing a black shirt, ordered the tricycle driver to get inside the passenger cab of the tricycle.  The perpetrator then hopped on to the driver’s seat and drove the tricycle to follow the abductors’ vehicle towards the direction of Bgy. Calayan.

Upon reaching Brgy. Calayan, the abductor alighted from the tricycle and transferred to the “spider” car. The vehicle then drove off towards the direction of Sta. Ana, Cagayan leaving the tricycle behind. The tricycle driver believed that Rodriguez was brought to the 17th IBPA based in San Jose, Gonzaga, Cagayan, since the spider cars were often seen as being used by the intelligence unit of the 17th IBPA.

Rodriguez is a volunteer of Kagimungan under Anakbayan’s community integration program, a program which allows the youth and students to integrate and work with the poor and different sectors of society.

The Karapatan-Cagayan Valley chapter conducted a search and fact-finding mission on September 15.  The team inquired at the camps of 17th IBPA detachments in Bgy. San Jose Gonzaga and the Cagayan Police Provincial Station in Bgy. Sta. Ana. The officers of the military and police denied that they have custody of Rodriguez.