Makabayan bloc sounds alarm over 2 missing Cebu activists

By: Jean Mangaluz - Reporter / @JMangaluzINQ - Inquirer.net | January 14,2023 - 07:10 PM

MANILA, Philippines — The Makabayan bloc, composed of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers Philippines (ACT), Gabriela Partylist, and the Kabataan Partylist (KPL), has called for immediate action on the reported disappearance of two Cebu-based activists.

According to separate statements from the groups, ACT Region 7 coordinator Dyan Gumanao and Alliance of Health Workers-Cebu coordinator Armand Dayoha were reported missing. The two of them allegedly experienced harassment and tailing prior to their disappearances.

“Dyan and Armand’s disappearance came after a series of reported incidents of surveillance by suspected state forces since 2020, with Dyan noting escalated tailing in the last quarter of 2022. Dyan was supposed to return to Cebu after spending the holiday break with her family last Tuesday. She was able to inform family and co-workers that the seacraft she had boarded had arrived in Cebu but has become unreachable since then,” said the ACT.

Gabriela Partylist said that “there are strong reasons to believe that state security forces are behind the enforced disappearances of Gumanao and Dayoha.”

Both Gabriela and KPL likened the pair’s disappearances to kidnappings during late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr.’s Martial Law era, which saw thousands of human rights violations.

READ: Fast facts on martial law

“Sa panahon ng diktadurang Marcos sa ilalim ng batas militar, higit 1,600 na tao ang winala o naging desaparecidos dahil sa kanilang pakikibaka o trabaho para isulong ang demokratikong karapatan ng mga Pilipino tulad ng lupa, sahod, trabaho, edukasyon at iba pa,” said the KPL.

(During the dictatorship of Marcos under Martial Law, more than 1,600 people went missing or became desaparecidos because of their fight or work to forward the democratic rights of Filipinos like land, wage, work education, and others.)

“This pattern of enforced disappearances and abduction of activists trigger a déjà vu of the atrocities committed by Marcos Jr.’s father against critics under the dark days of martial law, and should raise a strong cause for concern,” said Gabriela.

The Makabayan bloc called for the immediate resurfacing of the two activists.

ACT also noted that their disappearances arrived shortly before the United Nations’ International Labor Organization (ILO) will hold a High-Level Tripartite Mission (HLTM) that will investigate worsening trade union rights in the Philippines on January 23 to 26.

“We call on the ILO-HLTM to look into the cases of Dyan and Armand, and press the government to take action on their disappearance, together with the hundreds of cases of attacks against freedom of association such as extra-judicial killings, trumped up charges, illegal arrest and detention, harassment, red-tagging, disaffiliation, and union-busting,” said the ACT.

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TAGS: ACT, Alliance of Concerned Teachers, Cebu Daily News, cebu news, Dayoha, Gabriela Partylist, Gumanao, Kabataan Partylist, Makabayan

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