Kin of abducted activists gather at CA to mark International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearance

Families and friends of abducted activists rallied in front of the Court of Appeals in Manila to mark the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearance, where they called on the courts for a favorable decision on the petition for the writ of habeas corpus filed by the families of missing activists Gene Roz Jamil “Bazoo” de Jesus and Dexter Capuyan.

De Jesus and Capuyan’s disappearance since April 28, 2023 brings to eight the number of desaparecidos in the first year of the Ferdinand Marcos Jr. government.

“As four months have passed without any news on the condition of Bazoo and Manong Dexter, our plea continues that they be surfaced, their whereabouts be known soonest,” said Idda de Jesus, sister of Gene Roz Jamil.

Respondents to the petition for the writ of habeas corpus include Lieutenant General Andres Centino from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, General Benjamin Acorda Jr. from the Philippine National Police, and Police Brigadier General Romeo Caramat from the police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group to produce the two missing activists before the court.

“Days have turned into weeks and weeks into months. We continue to seek justice and hope the day will soon come when we stop counting, and we worry no more,” said Eli Capuyan, brother of Dexter.

Isabel Batralo, vice chairperson of Desaparecidos, said, “Our strength and determination mirror the struggles faced by numerous families across the nation who persistently seek answers regarding their missing loved ones.” Batralo’s brother, Cesar, a peasant organizer, went missing in 2006, in a wave of abductions perpetrated under the regime of Gloria Arroyo.

Meanwhile, Desaparecidos also announced that it will be monitoring the upcoming promulgation on September 27 of the cases of kidnapping, serious illegal detention, and serious physical injuries filed in a Malolos court against former Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan by farmer Raymond Manalo and his brother Reynaldo in 2016. “We hope that the court will find Palparan guilty of the crimes against the Manalo brothers, just as it did in 2018 on the cases filed by the mothers of Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno,” Batralo said.

“The act of enforced disappearances is a heinous crime and is inherently unjust. For families of the disappeared, justice remains elusive, which is why we persist in our fight, ” Batralo ended. #