Nelly and Federico Intise, a Davao City couple known for their work in the NGO community, disappeared last month without a trace. Davao Today contributor Gingging Avellanosa, a friend of Nellys, writes that anxious family and friends believe that the military took them.
Nelly and Federico Intise, and their son Bayan's painting
Nelly and Federico Intise have been missing since late October. At right is their son Bayan’s painting of Nelly’s favorite slippers. (Contributed photos)

DAVAO CITY — Nights are becoming difficult and disturbing for Malaya Intise, 23, the only daughter of Nelly Bakiran-Intise and Federico Intise, who have been missing, along with Gloria Caaveral, since last Oct. 26. They were last seen in General Santos City.

Malayas younger brother, Bayan, has become withdrawn lately, expressing his confusion — and perhaps silent rage — through his artwork, by painting on canvass his mothers favorite flowers and even slippers.

The couples family, friends, co-workers and relatives had combed General Santos City, visiting police and military camps almost daily since the three were reported missing.

However, the three seemed to have disappeared into thin air, and no one could say where they went or who took them as Karapatan the human-rights group, reported the incident to the mass media.

There was no one witness who could tell where they were or who could have taken them. Only a certain Rex Solon, reportedly a former member of the New Peoples Army (NPA) who, according to sources in Karapatan, had allegedly turned military asset, was the last person seen with the three on Oct. 26. But it seemed Solon could not be found anymore to shed further light on the disappearances.

The Intise family is now filing a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, believing that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) had a hand in their disappearance.

Expressing anxiety over her mothers physical health, Malaya said her mother had been recently diagnosed by a local physician as having heart problems. She said Nelly purposely went to General Santos City to buy tuna for the small family business, and also to see her father. Malaya added that they expected Nelly to come home to Davao City on Oct. 26, the day after Nelly sent them a message that she was going home the following day.

I knew Nelly way back in the late 80s, when the smoke of the guns of martial law was fast fading into the background and the euphoria of the people power uprising was still ringing in my ears. Nelly and her husband were ex-political detainees.

I cannot help but remember Nellys wide, naughty smile and lusty laughter each time she blurted out one of those dirty jokes she seemed to have plenty of. She was so full of life that there was never a dull moment with her.

I learned later that she had been working with a number of nongovernment organizations, specifically focusing on childrens issues. In 1999, Nelly was a support staff for Kabiba-Alliance for Childrens Concern. A friend described Nelly as a good cook and would keep her co-workers entertained by singing them songs and even dancing in front of them.

At one time she was also with the Kabataan Consortium, helping the organization by lending an ear to whatever family problems troubled children had. Much later, in 2005 up this year, she was with the Global Fund Malaria Control Program as community organizer in Compostela Valley Province. Then she also worked at that provinces health office.

Nelly was a very visible person, indeed. Her disappearance has disturbed not only her family but also the NGO community in Davao City. (Gingging Avellanosa/

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