Davao columnist went missing after arrest by cops

Jun. 09, 2019

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – A Davao City-based columnist was reported missing after she was arrested in Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental province on Sunday morning, June 9.

Margarita Valle, 61, was about to board a plane bound to Davao City when she was arrested by authorities and was told that she will be brought to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).

In a Facebook post, Valle’s son, Rius said that his mother was in Cagayan De Oro to attend a training workshop. She was still able to make a call to a nun asking for help when the arrest happened.

Families and friends of Valle had lost all communications with her since the arrest and still do not know of her whereabouts until now.

Valle currently writes at Davao Today as a columnist under a pen name Fides Avellanosa. She previously contributed as columnist of Sunstar Davao.

Local media were later able to get a copy of a spot report coming from the CIDG-9 that said Valle was a subject of a joint operation under Oplan Pagtugis. The CIDG-9 identified Valle as a certain Elsa Renton alias Tina Maglaya.

The police report further stated that Valle has a standing warrant of arrest for Multiple Murder, Quadruple Frustrated Murder, and Damage to Government Property issued by a local court in Calamba, Misamis Occidental dated December 29, 2011 with no bail recommended. The report added that she was also facing arrest for Arson with a warrant issued by a court in Pagadian City dated September 4, 2006 with a bail bond of Php24,000.

The authorities also accused Valle of being an affiliate of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front of the Philippines (CPP-NPA-NDFP) under the DND-DILG (Department of National Defense – Department of Interior and Local Government) Joint Order Number 14-2012.

Rius, in a phone interview, condemned the arrest of his mother as he urged authorities to surface Valle.

Aside from being a writer, Rius said that her mother was also a development worker, serving as an advocate for Lumad education.

“I believe this is a form of state repression,” Valle said. “It’s like what they did to Amy Pond. They would accuse my mother of being someone else when it is clearly not her. They did it to silence human rights defenders,” Rius emphasized.

Rius added that they would check with the records of the mentioned courts if the charges are true and to verify if the name of Valle was only placed in previously issued warrants against other individuals.

The family of Valle is currently consulting with their lawyers in the possibility of filing a habeas corpus if they still would not find her location.

Valle’s family and members of the press in the country expressed concern over her disappearance. As of press time, authorities have yet to surface Valle to her family. (davaotoday.com)

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