May 13, 2023

Dear friends and colleagues,

Greetings of peace!

Since April 28, 2023, Dexter Capuyan and Gene Roz Jamil “Bazoo” De Jesus have been missing.

Dexter Capuyan and indigenous peoples’ rights advocate Gene Roz Jamil De Jesus (also known as Bazoo, Lem or Hadji to his family and friends), were reportedly in Taytay, Rizal when they were able to contact their families for the last time. Capuyan was a former Cordillera-based activist while De Jesus is a staff of the Philippine Task Force on Indigenous Peoples Rights (TFIP), a network of NGOs focusing on the rights of indigenous peoples in the Philippines to their ancestral land.

Their families and colleagues, with the assistance of human rights groups and lawyers, have filed blotter and/ or incident reports with concerned barangay and police officials in Taytay, Rizal, Taytay Police Station, and the PNP-Rizal Office.

They have gone to the following to check if military or police units have custody of the two: Rizal Police Provincial Office, Taytay Municipal Police Station and Rizal Provincial Jail in Taytay, Rizal; Camp General Mateo Capinpin (headquarters of the 2nd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army) in Tanay, Rizal; Laguna Police Provincial Office Calamba City Police Station in Calamba City, Laguna; Camp General Vicente Lim (headquarters of PNP Regional Office-IVA) in Calamba City, Laguna; PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Region IV-A in Antipolo, Rizal; Camp Crame (headquarters of the PNP) in Quezon City; Camp Aguinaldo (general headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines) in Quezon City; National Intelligence Coordinating Agency in Quezon City; Camp Allen (where the headquarters of the Task Force Group Baguio under the 503rd Infantry Brigade is located) in Baguio City; Camp Dangwa (headquarters of the Police Regional Office in the Cordillera) in La Trinidad, Benguet.

Unfortunately, only three of the above-mentioned police or military units have accomplished the forms provided by the family and their paralegal team and lawyers as per Republic Act No. 10353 or the Anti-Enforced Disappearance Act, while others did not provide information on Capuyan and De Jesus’ whereabouts. Under the said law, government agencies, especially those in the security sector, should provide necessary assistance to inquiring parties. Officers-in-charge from the Task Force Group Baguio did not even accept letters written by the families of Capuyan and De Jesus.

In the course of the search, however, family members and those assisting them were able to receive reports that on the evening of April 28, at least two vehicles blocked the tricycle ridden by two persons matching the descriptions of Capuyan and De Jesus. The two were forced into separate vehicles by men who introduced themselves as elements of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG). The incident happened in the vicinity of SM City Mall in Taytay, Rizal.

Capuyan and De Jesus are the seventh and eighth persons involuntarily disappeared under the Marcos Jr. regime. The others are Gabriela activists Ma. Elena Pampoza and Elgene Mungcal, pregnant women Aurily Havana and Jennifer Binungkasan, NDFP consultant Ariel Badiang and Negros peasant organizer Leonardo Sermona.

There is also a list of alleged “communist terrorist group personalities” with bounties offered for their capture dead or alive. Dexter Capuyan’s photo is on the list circulated by the Department of National Defense and Department of Interior and Local Government which contains the pictures of 81 persons, with bounties ranging from PhP150,000 to PhP10 million.

So far, three persons on the said DND-DILG list have gone missing, while five have been arrested. Aside from Capuyan, the other missing persons on the list are National Democratic Front of the Philippines peacetalks consultants Leo Velasco (missing since February 19, 2007) and Prudencio Calubid (missing since June 26, 2006). Those arrested and currently detained are Evelyn Munoz, Evangeline Rapanut, Rosita Serrano, Adora Faye de Vera and Eric Jun Casilao.

Capuyan, a Bontoc-Ibaloi-Kankanaey, is listed with a combined bounty of PhP2.85M, rendering him vulnerable to harm by those intent on collecting bounty – which includes PhP1M from recent “Wanted: Dead or Alive” posters, bearing Capuyan’s name and picture along with other individuals, circulated by State agents in the towns of Kabugao and Conner in Apayao province.

Such lists and posters are akin to “order of battle lists,” practically a military hitlist, which had been previously criticized as an arbitrary operational tool of the military to target, even “neutralize”, those it perceives as “enemies of the State” including activists.

The 5th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army and the 1st Civil Relations Group of the AFP’s CRS posted information on their Facebook accounts that Capuyan allegedly has warrants of arrests for cases in the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 25 in Tagudin, Ilocos Sur and in the RTC Branch 35 in Bontoc, Mountain Province.

The families of Capuyan and De Jesus are very worried that they may have been abducted and detained by State forces. Worse, the families are concerned for their loved ones’ safety, fearing that they may be extrajudicially killed like other activists who had first been reported as involuntarily disappeared.

We urgently appeal for your support and solidarity by:

  1. Writing letters and statements calling for the surfacing of Dexter Capuyan and Gene Roz Jamil De Jesus, and to send the letters and statements to the following:

Mr. Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.
President of the Republic of the Philippines
Malacañang Palace, Kalayaan Hall, 2/F Jose Laurel Street
San Miguel, Manila, Philippines 1005
Email: op@president.gov.ph, op@malacanang.gov.ph
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/opgovph
Twitter: https://twitter.com/opgovph

Ret. Gen. Carlito G. Galvez Jr.
Senior Undersecretary and Officer-in-Charge
Department of National Defense (DND)
DND Building, Segundo Ave., Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City, Philippines 1110
Tel: +63-289825600
Email: comms@dnd.gov.ph
Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/DNDPHL
Twitter: https://twitter.com/dndphl

Benjamin C. Abalos Jr.
Secretary, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)
DILG NAPOLCOM Center, EDSA corner Quezon Avenue, Quezon City,
Philippines 1104
Tel: +63-2-928-6713;+63-2-925-0382
Email: bcabalosjr@dilg.gov.ph
Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/dilg.philippines
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DILGPhilippines

Gen. Andres Centino
Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)
Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City, Philippines 1110
Email: paoafp@gmail.com
Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/armedforcesofthephilippines
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TeamAFP

PGen. Benjamin C. Acorda Jr.
Chief, Philippine National Police (PNP)
PNP General Headquarters, Camp Rafael Crame, Quezon City, Philippines 0801
Email: pnp.pio@gmail.com
Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/pnp.pio
Twitter: https://twitter.com/pnppio

Atty. Richard Palpal-latoc
Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines
SAAC Building, UP Complex, Commonwealth Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City, 1101
Tel: +63-289285655
Email: ocrpp@chr.gov.ph
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chrgovph
Twitter: https://twitter.com/chrgovph

  1. Issuing statements of solidarity for Dexter Capuyan and Gene Roz Jamil De Jesus as well as all the disappeared to be circulated to the public and media circles, and calling on the Philippine government to:

a. Surface Dexter Capuyan and Gene Roz Jamil De Jesus alive and safe;

b. Stop the DND and DILG’s policy and practice of producing “rewards or order of battle” lists, as these endanger the security and lives of individuals and groups;

c. Recall Executive Order No. 70, creating a national task force (NTF) to end local communist armed conflict and institutionalizing the so-called whole of nation approach; to stop all activities emanating from this order, including the smear campaigns and judicial harassment against human rights activists;

d. Withdraw its counterinsurgency program, which victimizes innocent and unarmed civilians, and human rights defenders;

e. Adhere to Republic Act 10353 or the Anti-Enforced Disappearance Act of 2012 (also known as the Anti-Desaparecido Law);

f. Adhere to and respect the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders and all major Human Rights instruments to which it is a party and signatory.

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

Karapatan Alliance Philippines
National Office
2/F Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin cor Matatag Sts., Brgy. Central,
Diliman, Quezon City 1100 PHILIPPINES
Telefax: (+632) 435 4146
Email: publicinfo@karapatan.org
Website: www.karapatan.org

  1. Provide moral and material support to the families of Dexter Capuyan and Gene Roz Jamil de Jesus for their search. You may send a message to Cordillera Human Rights Alliance via mobile phone (+63919-9007) or via Facebook https://www.facebook.com/karapatan.chra.