DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The National Democratic Front of the Philippines-Far South Mindanao expressed fear consultant Lora Manipis and husband Jeruel Domingo who had been missing since February 24 may have been executed by intelligence and military operatives or have been tortured.
In a statement, the NDFP demanded the immediate surfacing of its consultant Lora T. Manipis and husband Jeruel B. Domingo who had been missing since February 24.
NDFP-Far South Mindanao
It said that witnesses last saw the couple in Kidapawan City and they had not made any contact with their family and comrades since then.
Intense surveillance was observed by the family for two years and lately, their daughter was also interrogated in school.
Lora or Ka Al was a student activist before she joined the New People’s Army. The NDFP said Manipis has been serving as an organizer and leader in the areas of Far South Mindanao.
Her husband, Jemuel Domingo or Ka Jamjam, is an NPA commander in Saranggani and South Cotabato.
NDFP said prior to their disappearance, the couple had been busy in conducting dialogues with peasant and indigenous people allegedly affected by the X-trata Mining operations in Tampakan, South Cotabato.
Marcella Arsenio, spokesperson of NDFP Far South Mindanao condemned the couple’s “forced disappearance, the unbridled violation of their rights and the military’s refusal to surface them.”
Arsenio said they are holding President Duterte responsible for the couple’s disappearance.
“Their disappearance exposes the (the government’s) lack of genuine interest in the peace process and use of dastardly ways to suppress the revolutionary forces,” she added.
Meanwhile, spokesperson of the 10th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army Capt. Jerry Lamosao denied they were responsible for the couple’s disappearance.
“If they believe that the Army is responsible, they should have filed a complaint earlier given that if they coordinate with authorities, they can ask for assistance,” said Lamosao.
Referring to NDFP consultants who were released in time for the peace negotiations in 2016, Lamosao said “they should be responsible enough.”
He said “(W)herever they are conducting recruitment and dialogue, they should go home because their colleagues in the NDFP are looking for them.”
In December 2017 after the peace talks between the Philippine government and the NDFP was suspended, Duterte called out for the arrest of NDFP consultants.
Karapatan has recorded from July 2016 to December 2017, 6,227 victims of human rights atrocities in the Far South Region, comprising 20 victims of extrajudicial killings, 22 illegal arrest and detention, 6,185 victims of displacement and evacuation and two enforced disappearances.
Article 2 of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance defines enforced disappearance as “the arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation of liberty by agents of the State or by persons or groups of persons acting with the authorization, support or acquiescence of the State, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or by concealment of the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person, which place such a person outside the protection of the law.”
“Individuals, as a rule in civilian clothes and armed, remove an opponent or human rights activist to an unknown place by force and without apparent motive. When the victims loved ones try to ascertain his or her whereabouts, the authorities either ignore their entreaties or open an inquiry which they know will lead nowhere or which ends in the exoneration of the suspects,” it added.
In the Philippines, there were 759 documented disappeared from 1971 to 1986 under the Marcos Dictatorship, but these continued in the succeeding administrations as reported by human rights group Karapatan: 810 victims under the Corazon Aquino administration; 19 under Ramos; 38 under Estradas three-year term; 202 under Arroyos nine years; 29 under Benigno Simeon Aquino III and 4 under the Duterte administration. (davaotoday.com)