DAUGHTER OF ABDUCTED NDF CONSULTANT HITS AQUINO’S INUTILITY OVER CASES OF ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCE AND HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS

Malaya Intise, daughter of NDF consultant Federico Intise and Nelly Intese  Photo by KILAB Multimedia

Malaya Intise, daughter of NDF consultant Federico Intise and Nelly Intese
Photo by KILAB Multimedia

Press Release | KILAB Multimedia
October 29, 2014

“I felt the courage to speak up because of the firm commitment of my parents to serve the people. This makes me proud of them. The struggle must continue to attain justice.”

This was the statement of Malaya Intise, daughter of NDF consultant Federico Intise and Nelly Intese who were abducted eight years ago. Malaya recalled that her parents, together with Gloria Canaveral, were abducted in Sitio Putting Bato, Barangay Calumpang, General Santos City last October 26, 2006.

Malaya believes that the military were behind the enforced disappearances.

After eight years of living in fear, Malaya finally broke her silence to expose the inutility of the government in addressing the cases of enforced disappearances and breeding a culture of impunity.

She stressed that her father was supposedly protected by the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) as an NDF consultant. She also recalled that during the Arroyo administration, there were a lot of children who lost their parents due to the counter-insurgency program dubbed as Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL).

The OBL was meant to stop the revolutionary movement but in the process it targeted critics of the government including progressive organizations, peasants, indigenous peoples, lawyers, youth, among others. Under the Arroyo administration, not less than a thousand individuals became victims of human rights violations.

Meanwhile, Sr. Noemi Degala, Executive Secretary of Sister’s Association in Mindanao expressed support to the Intise family in their struggle. She said that this is part of their responsibility and duty to the people.

Sr. Degala also expressed dismay over the rampant abuses against the Filipino people. According to Degala, cases of enforced disappearances, extra-judicial killings and militarization continue under Aquino administration’s Oplan Bayanihan.

Based on Karapatan’s monitoring, 2 out of 17 cases of enforced disappearance were recorded in Southern Mindanao Region (SMR) while 25 out of 156 victims of extra-judicial killings were in SMR. The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) also revealed that not less than 15 of its consultants were detained.

Sr. Degala called on the GPH and NDFP to continue the peace talks. She believes that through this process, the people will arrive at solutions to their problems and achieve genuine peace. She also supported the call to free all political prisoners in order for peace negotiations to begin. ###

INTISE NELLY INTISE

Gen. Año, Gen. Palparan, Maj. Baliaga, and ex-Gov. Reyes real life monsters; calls on Aquino to surface Ben Villeno—Desaparecidos

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News Release
2 November 2013

Chief of Intelligence Gen. Eduardo Año, Ret. Gen. Jovito Palparan, “Maj. Harry Baliaga, ex-Gov. Joel Reyes and all those like them are the present-day real life monsters,”  Lorena “Aya” Santos, secretary general of Families of Desaparecidos for Justice (Desaparecidos) said in a program at the Baclaran Redemptorist Church.

“They abduct, torture, keep you away from your loved ones or kill you,” Santos said. “Unfortunately, despite their crimes these evil monsters are still out there hiding or pretending to be humans until their next victim,” Santos added.

Relatives and friends of the disappeared gather every 2nd of November to remember their missing loved ones. “We have no graves to visit for we never found the bodies of our relatives and friends, so we light candles here in Baclaran Church as our way of remembering them,” Santos said.

Gen. Eduardo Año, one of those charged for the abduction and disappearance of agriculturist Jonas Burgos was dropped from the charge list, along with other high military officials. Maj. Harry Baliaga, the only soldier who was charged for the abduction of Burgos had recently posted a P40,000 bail. Retired Gen. Palparan, implicated on the abduction and disappearance of two UP students Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan, remains a fugitive while, former Palawan governor Joel Reyes, implicated in the killing of environmentalist Gerry Ortega, is also in hiding.

Desaparecidos recently called Baliaga’s bail as an escape from prosecution. “We are outraged to see that every single perpetrator of enforced disappearances are given shield to elude prison. Yet, it is even more enraging that apart from letting these monsters go free, BS Aquino promotes them in positions that empower them more,” Santos said.

“The latest victim of enforced disappearance is Ben Villeno, a long time trade union leader in Southern Tagalog,” Santos mentioned. Villeno, 43, was abducted on August 27, 2013 while on his way to a relative’s house in Cavite. He was able to send a text message to inform a colleague that he was being tailed. Villeno lost contact since then. Apparently, he did not reach his relative’s house and he remains missing to date.

Villeno experienced several incidents of harassments and surveillances even during the Arroyo regime. “But, it is under this current regime that boasts of  an Anti-Disappearance law that Villeno became a victim of enforced disappearance. It shows that BS Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan is just as brutal as Oplan Bantay Laya,” Santos continued. “The Aquino government should be held accountable especially now that Anti-Enforced Disappearance Law is in place.”

“Like many desaparecidos, we still hope that Villeno is alive,” Santos said. “We are calling on any person who may know his whereabouts to inform us or Villeno’s family immediately,” Santos said.

The group Desaparcidos called on the Aquino government and all those in-charge of detention places, declared or undeclared, to abide by their own law, the Anti-Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance Law. Desaparecidos also  demanded from the Aquino government to “Surface Ben Villeno and all desaparecidos! Stop enforced disappearances! Prosecute all perpetrators!” ###

Reference: Lorena “Aya” Santos, Secretary General, 0908-8121982

April 19 online action to call for the surfacing of James Balao

Dear friends,

On April 19, 2013 together with the Balao family, we are calling on friends, colleagues, and human rights advocates to fold a paper crane with a short message for James.  It will be his 52nd birthday and we continue to call for his surfacing and for justice.  On April 19, it would be 1677 days since his enforced disappearance. We enjoin you to post a photo of the crane in the Surface James Balao page in Facebook.  The photos will be collected and mounted in an online exhibit to show the continuing call for the surfacing of James Balao and other desaparecidos and for an end to enforced disappearances. We encourage those who will join us to post the paper crane on their own Facebook walls or use it as profile pictures.

(How to make an origami crane)

We also encourage that letters of concern regarding the continuing enforced disappearance of James Balao be sent to the Office of the President, the Commission on Human Rights, the Department of National Defense, and the Philippine National Police.

James Balao who was then 47 years old, a founding member of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance was abducted in the morning of September 17, 2008 in Tomay, La Trinidad Benguet. He is among the more than 200 men and women who have been victims of enforced disappearance with the implementation of Oplan Bantay Laya or Operation Freedomwatch under then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.  In letters sent to his family prior to his abduction, he informed them that he was being followed and watched by State security agents.

In October 17, 2008, to mark the one month of the enforced disappearance of James, his family, friends and colleagues, folded one thousand paper cranes to symbolically call for his surfacing. The last two pieces of cranes to complete the 1000 cranes for James was added by Mrs. Edita Burgos, mother of Jonas Burgos and by Mr. Arthur Balao, father of James Balao.

A thousand paper cranes or senbazuru (千羽鶴) is an old Japanese tradition we have adopted to call for the surfacing of James Balao who is also of Japanese descent. According to the original tradition, anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted what one yearns for. It is our continuing hope that James and other desaparecidos will be united with their families, and for justice to be served.

This campaign will last until September 17, 2013, the 5th year anniversary of James’ enforced disappearance. We also encourage everyone to still make paper cranes even after April 19 and even if we’ve reached a thousand paper cranes.

We are hoping for your participation on this day.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Audrey Beltran
Deputy Secretary General
Cordillera Human Rights Alliance