KARAPATAN Human Rights Defenders harassed in Metro Manila, Philippines

On 2 November 2007, between 4:45-5:00 in the afternoon, Olivia Bernardo was sitting in the front seat of a passenger jeepney, on her way home. When the jeepney stopped at the corner of East Avenue and V. Luna St. for the red light, a motorcycle with no license plate stopped about two arms length away from the jeepney and the man on board the motorcycle angrily said to her, "Masyado kang nakikialam!" (You're meddling too much!) which caught her attention and prompted her to look in the man's direction. At this instance, the man brought out a camera, aimed it at her and took her picture, after which he sped off towards the direction of Epifaño De Los Santos (EDSA) Avenue.

At 7:10 in the evening of the same date, Mary Guy Portajada received a text message from a mobile phone number 09168397804 saying "HANAPIN NINYO SA IMPIYERNO ANG MGA KALULUWANG HINAHANAP…HUWAG NA KAYO MAGPAPOGI SA MEDIA…IKAW NA ANG SUSUNOD.+ +" (Search the souls you're looking for in hell…Quit preening before the media…You're next.+ +)

Earlier that day, at 10:00 in the morning, Olivia and Mary Guy led the yearly November 2 activity of the DESAPARECIDOS to remember and give tribute to victims of enforced disappearances at the Redemptorist Church in Baclaran, Parañaque City.

Mary Guy is the daughter of Armando Portajada, a labor leader and a victim of enforced disappearance, who has been missing since July 31, 1987.

Olivia Bernardo heads the Services Desk of KARAPATAN. The desk conducts searches, organizes Quick Reaction Teams (QRTs) and Fact Finding Missions (FFMs) for missing persons believed to be abducted by military elements or their agents by going to military camps, filing Petitions for Writ of Habeas Corpus and Amparo and coordinate with other institutions and organizations that will provide psycho-social assistance and sanctuaries to families and relatives of victims of enforced disappearances as well as witnesses. The desk is also the arm of KARAPATAN in looking after political prisoners and their cases as well as responding to other welfare needs of victims of human rights violations.