FORWARDED APPEAL (Philippines): Illegal arrest and detention of eight activists 

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is forwarding an appeal received from Karapatan (Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights) from the Philippines, calling for the safety and release of nine people who have been currently detained since August 31, 2008.

Eight of them are activists from an organization working for peasants. One has been charged with illegal possession of explosives. Their defense lawyers must be allowed to provide legal assistance during their interrogation

If you have further queries in this case, please feel free to contact the office of Karapatan below.

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Desk
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)


Initial Data

UA Date: 1 September 2008

UA Title: Eight peasant organizers and their driver abducted in Silang, Cavite and detained in Camp Vicente Lim, Canlubang, Laguna, Philippines

UA Case: Abduction, Illegal Arrest and Detention

1. Felix Nardo, 24 y/o, male, member of Anakbayan-Cavite chapter and PROGAY
2. Janice Javier, female
3. Bernardo Derain, male
4. Renato Alvarez, male, chairperson of Kalipunan ng mga Magsasaka sa Kabite, AMAGSASAKA-KA
5. Yolanda Caraig, female
6. Jomel Igana, male
7. Neshley Cresino, female
8. Franco Remoroso, male
All peasant organizers are affiliates/members of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) or the Peasant Movement of the Philippines
9. A certain Mario (driver), male
Place of Incident: Along Brgy. Tartaria, Silang, Cavite Philippines
Date of Incident: 31 August 2008, around 3:30 AM
Alleged Perpetrators: Regional Special Operations Group (RSOG) of the Philippine National Police (PNP)-Region IV

Account of Incident:
On August 31, 2008, (Sunday), around 3:30 AM, eight peasant activists were on their way to a meeting to discuss activities and preparations for the annual October Peasant Week.  They were traveling from Brgy. Tartaria, Silang, Cavite towards the direction of Tagaytay City on board a utility vehicle called “multicab” (short for multi-purpose cab).

They were expected to arrive in an hour or so in Tagaytay, but they did not reach their destination and none of them could be reached, prompting their families and colleagues to call for help.
The provincial office of Karapatan in Batangas has received the report that the eight peasant activists and their driver have not reached their destination and are feared abducted.

By 9:30 AM of the same day, a Quick Reaction Team was organized by Karapatan and they accompanied some relatives of the missing persons to Camp Pantaleon, the Provincial office of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Imus, Cavite.  The police denied having custody of the nine persons and denied having knowledge of the incident.

On September 1, 2008, the team went to the PNP’s Regional Office in Camp Vicente Lim in Canlubang, Calamba City, Laguna and found that the nine victims are being detained there.
The victims told the team that they were stopped at a checkpoint in Brgy, Pasong Langka, Silang, Cavite by members of the Air Force-Batangas and elements of the PNP, and were asked to alight the multicab.  Their hands were tied and their mouths were muffled by packaging tapes and they were loaded into separate vehicles.

As of this writing, one of the victims, Felix Nardo, is being charged with Illegal Possession of Explosives.


Send letters, emails or fax messages calling for:
1.       The safety of the detainees to be ensured.
2.      The immediate and unconditional release of Felix Nardo, , Janice Javier, Bernardo Derain, Renato Alvarez, Yolanda Caraig, Jomel Igana, Neshley Cresino, Franco Remoroso, and Mario.
3.      The military to stop the labeling of human rights defenders as “members of front organizations of the communists” and “enemies of the state.”
4.      The Philippine Government to be reminded that it is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and that it is also a party to all the major Human Rights instruments, thus it is bound to observe all of these instruments’ provisions.

You may send your communications to:

H.E. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
President of the Republic
Malacañang Palace,
JP Laurel St., San Miguel
Manila Philippines
Voice: (+632) 564 1451 to 80
Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968
Cell#: (+ 63) 919 898 4622 / (+63) 917 839 8462
E-mail: /

Sec. Gilberto C. Teodoro Jr.
Department of National Defense
Room 301 DND Building, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo,
E. de los Santos Avenue
Quezon City
Voice: +63(2) 911-9281 / 911-0488
Fax: +63(2) 911 6213

Sec. Raul M. Gonzalez
Secretary, Department of Justice
Padre Faura St., Manila
Direct Line 521-8344; 5213721
Trunk line 523-84-81 loc.214
Fax: (+632) 521-1614

Hon. Leila De Lima
Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., UP Complex
Commonwealth Avenue
Diliman, Quezon City
Fax: (+632) 929 0102

Please send us a copy of your email/mail/fax to the said government official to our address below.

URGENT ACTION Prepared by:

Karapatan (Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights)-National Office 2/F Erythrin Bldg., #1 Maaralin cor Matatag Sts., Brgy. Central, Diliman
Quezon City 1100 PHILIPPINES
Voice/Fax: (+632) 435 4146
Emails: /

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (

Document Type : Forwarded Urgent Appeal
Document ID : AHRC-FUA-009-2008
Countries : Philippines,
Issues : Arbitrary arrest & detention,