Families of the disappeared press NTF-ELCAC to surface Dexter Capuyan and Gene Roz Jamil de Jesus

The recent revelations of Jonila de Castro and Jhed Tamano, the two young women environmental defenders who were abducted on September 2, 2023 and surfaced as “surrenderees” by the military and the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), shows the need for a more thorough independent investigation into the enforced disappearance of Dexter Capuyan and Gene Roz Jamil de Jesus, who were reportedly abducted by State agents on April 28, 2023 in Taytay, Rizal.

Thus said Desaparecidos, an organization of families and friends of the disappeared, as they joined the protest action of national minorities in front of the office of the National Intelligence Cooperation Agency (NICA) and the NTF-ELCAC in V. Luna Street, Quezon City today.

All cases of enforced disappearances indicate the role of State agents before and during the said abductions as perpetrators, Desaparecidos said. “Similar to Castro’s case when suspected State agents intimidated her parents before she and Tamano were abducted, Capuyan was tagged by State agents as a top-ranking CPP-NPA officer of the Chadli Molintas Command in the Ilocos and Cordillera regions. As youth activists, the organizations of Castro, Tamano and de Jesus were also red-tagged,” they added.

Dexter and Gene Roz were reportedly taken by armed men who introduced themselves as police operatives, onboard vehicles which intercepted a tricycle where the two rode. Castro and Tamano were abducted by armed men onboard a vehicle who later introduced themselves as military operatives.

“The patterns are remarkably familiar. The same patterns are what we saw in all the other cases of abductions and enforced disappearances,” Desaparecidos said.

Desaparecidos also expressed deep disappointment with the recent decision of the Court of Appeals denying the petition for the writ of habeas corpus for Capuyan and de Jesus.

“The CA decision reminds us that the current domestic legal mechanisms are grossly inadequate in addressing the crimes of enforced disappearance. We have gone through the same mechanisms and yet, our loved ones remain missing and justice remains elusive,” the organization said.

Desaparecidos vows to continue their support for the loved ones of Capuyan and de Jesus in their efforts to surface the two, and to pursue justice for all victims of enforced disappearances and all human rights violations.