DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The family of a community leader abducted over the Army’s suspicion that she was linked to the New People’s Army has appealed to her abductors to return her saying she has a heart condition.
“I ask those who took my wife, please release her. She has heart failure and too old to suffer. If she has violations, then she should face it in court. Not like this,” said Juan Hayahay, the husband of Imelda who was taken from their house at 10: 30 pm on October 15.
Witnesses said eight armed men with bonnets on their faces took her mother.Juan said he was at work when it happened.
Jeany Rose Hayahay, a teacher Community Technical College of Southeastern Mindanao, and one of the children, said her brothers and sisters who were present during the incident overheard the abductors as saying they would communicate with the family to ask ransom of only P5,000 or to surrender the “teacher”, referring to her.
The abducted woman was the parent-leader of the conditional cash transfer program, called 4PS, and a barangay health worker in their community in Purok 1, Star Apple, Barangay Pindasan, Municipality of Mabini, Compostela Valley Province.
Jeany Rose disclosed that her abduction was likely related to the Army accusation in the past that her mother was a supporter of the NPA.
In 2002, soldiers of the 72nd infantry battalion raided their house, and again in 2006 and in 2010.
A neighbor who Jeany Rose would not name claimed she saw the incident and told the family there were “military personnel who accompanied the eight men” who took Imelda.
On October 23, Jeany Rose’s siblings ask for mayor’s help where they were facilitated for a talk with Lt. Steven Docusin a commanding officer of the 71st IB who told them that “their mother is in good hands”
The Hayahay family said it suspected that the abduction of Imelda Hayahay was in connection with Jeany Rose’s activity as a volunteer teacher for indigenous children in (CTCSM). The government military has linked these schools to the NPA.
The Hugpong sa mga Mag-uuma sa Walog Compostela (HUMAWAC), a provincial organization of farmers, affiliated with the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), said the case of Imelda Hayahay was the first case of enforced disappearance in the region under President Rodrigo Duterte’s watch.
HUMAWAC secretary-general Noli Villanueva told Davao today that the organization has already lost 40 farmers to the Army attacks on its membership.
“Hayahay has been missing since October 15, as to the motive and pattern of this covert-type of operation, there’s no one that we can pinpoint as the perpetrators but the AFP particularly the 71st Infantry Battalion Philippine Army as part of their area of operation. These are cowardly and terroristic acts” said Villanueva.(davaotoday.com)