FORWARDED APPEAL (Philippines): Forcible disappearance of seven activists in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental, Visayas 

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is forwarding an appeal from \\KARAPATAN (Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights), a human rights organization in Manila, Philippines, regarding the disappearance of seven human rights activists, four of whom are peasants in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental, Visayas on 30 September 2005.

The victims have yet to be found after they were illegally arrested and detained by elements of the Alpha Company, 12th Infantry Battalion (IB), Philippine Army, led by 1Lt. Sandy Labrador and 1Lt. Christopher Belardo. This is yet another incident of violence against activists in the Philippines.

We call on you for your strong intervention in this matter. Please write letters to the Philippine government, in particular the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to have the alleged perpetrators investigated and prosecuted, if found to have committed such an offence. They must produce the victims without delay, and allow them to return to their families.

Please also ask the Philippine government to consider as a priority the enactment of a proposed bill in Congress criminalizing disappearance – House Bill 1556, an act defining and criminalizing the crime of enforced or involuntary disappearances.

If your have further questions, please contact KARAPATAN.

Urgent Appeals Desk
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

Dear friends,

On the same day Vicky Samonte, KMU leader from the Caraga region in Mindanao was killed, seven (7) persons, four of which are peasants were abducted and are now missing in Negros Occidental.

We are sending you this urgent action to help pressure the arroyo government to order the armed forces of the Philippines to release them and return them to their families.

Thank you for your support and immediate response.

In solidarity,

KARAPATAN-National Office
Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights

UA Date: 04 October 2005

UA Title: Peasant organizers & several others missing in Negros Occidental, Philippines

UA Case:  Arbitrary Arrest, Arbitrary Detention, Enforced Disappearance, Physical Assault, Illegal Search and Seizure, Divestment of Property and Threat, Harassment
and Intimidation

Victim/s: Marilou H. Villanueva
. 47 years old, married to Abraham and with two (2) children
. Female
. *KMP Peasant organizer
. A resident of Valladolid, Negros Occidental, Philippines

Abraham D. Villanueva
. 42 years old, married to Marilou, with two (2) children
. Male
. *KMP Peasant organizer
. A resident of Valladolid, Negros Occidental, Philippines

Charity A. Villar
. 41 years old, married with two (2) children
. Male
. *KMP/Amihan organizer
. A resident of Alijis Bacolod City, Philippines

Morito Dionson
. Married with four (4) children
. Male
. KMP Consultant
. A resident of Dumaguete, Negros Oriental, Philippines

Darry P. Dayanan
. 20 years old, single
. Male
. Teatro Obrero organizer
. Member, National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW)
. A resident of Escalante City, Negros Occidental, Philippines

Rico B. Abrasaldo
. 41 years old, married
. Male
. Driver
. A resident of Mabinay, Negros Oriental, Philippines

Jeremie A. Gellegan
. 37 years old, married with two (2) children
. Male
. Farmer
. A resident of Barangay Mayapusi, Mabinay, Negros Oriental, Philippines

* KMP – Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas or Peasant Movement of the
Philippines, a progressive peasant organization in the country

Place of Incident: About 50 meters away from Alpha Coy Detachment 12th
Infantry Battalion at Barangay Camingawan, Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental

Date of Incident:  30 September 2005 around 9:00 PM

Perpetrators: Elements of the Alpha Coy 12th Infantry Battalion led by 1st
Lt. Sandy Labrador and 1st Lt. Christopher Belardo

Account of Incident:

At around 9:00 pm of  30 September 2005, while on board a rented Tamaraw FX, seven (7) persons composed of four (4) *KMP members and organizers, a Teatro Obrero organizer, the FX driver and his assistant, were stopped by elements of Alpha Company 12th IB in a checkpoint situated in the highway of Barangay. Camingawan, Kabankalan City.

The *KMP organizers just came from a meeting at Dumaguete City and were on their way to Bacolod City during the incident.

Military elements wearing camouflage, which did not identify themselves commanded those on board the FX cab to alight and immediately lined them up.

The victims then noticed a nearby-parked dirty white van, with about six (6) armed elements wearing civilian clothes and wearing bonnets inside. They immediately separated Morito Dionson from the group, loaded him in the dirty white van and sped off to an undetermined destination.

Those who were left behind protested and created noise to attract the attention of passing commuters; however, military elements who manned the checkpoint pointed their guns at them, blindfolded them and forced them to lie on the ground.

They were again subjected to interrogation lasting to an hour, while the army took possession of their personal belongings including six (6) cellphones, clothes, two (2) computer laptops, Sanyo LCD projector, cash of about P8,000, a packed sugar worth P500, personal effects and papers.

The six victims were then detained overnight at the Alpha Company detachment situated just about 50 meters away from said checkpoint. They were handcuffed, threatened, and denied of food, rest and medical attention.

01 October 2005
Members of the September 21 Movement, led by Atty. Ben Ramos went to the Alpha Coy detachment in Barangay Camingawan to demand for the release of the *KMP members. According to those who responded the six victims were then handed over by the military to the Kabankalan Philippine National Police (PNP) at around 10:00 a.m. of October 01 (Saturday). No charges were filed against the six (6) that morning while they were in the “custody” of the police. The Kabankalan PNP were hesitant to receive the six (6) since no appropriate charges were filed against them, they were not even detained. However, one army truck, an army hummer vehicle and more than 40 army elements secured the perimeter of the police station.

At around 1:00p.m., Col. Leo Jogy Fojas said over a radio interview, aired before RGMA, that they found two (2) .45 caliber pistol inside the FX van. However at around 1:10 p.m. an Army officer identified as 1st Lt. Christopher Belardo presented before the PNP Kabankalan desk officer a handwritten blotter report and a Colt caliber super .38 with serial # 77418 as evidence against the arrested six. The blotter report indicated that the firearm was recovered during the checkpoint and found below the driver’s seat.

At past 3:00 p.m., the army forcibly took the six (6) victims upon orders of their higher command despite the resistance and protest of the representing lawyer, KMP and September 21 Movement supporters.

When asked about their destination, the army relayed that they will be brought to the 61st Infantry Battalion headquarters at Tiling Cauayan. However, the six (6) were instead brought to Haba Military detachment in Candoni.

Dionson could not be located until now, KARAPATAN-Negros had checked on the 303rd Brigade in Minoyan Murcia but Maj. Taladua denied any idea regarding the whereabouts of Dionson.

02 October 2005
In the early morning, members of the September 21 Movement and leaders of KMP-Negros together with the families of the victims went to Haba detachment in Candoni but they were told that the victims were brought to the Municipal Hall of Candoni. They proceeded to the Municipal Hall and proceeded later to the Candoni PNP headquarters. They discovered that Sgt.Marcelo Quenaling filed a blotter report against Marilou Villanueva, Abraham Villanueva, Charity Villar, Rico Abrasaldo, Morito Dionson, Eddie
Arcadenia and Gemma Arcadenia on the alleged harassment of NPA in Haba detachment in Candoni.

Upon learning that the six (6) victims were not there, the group of September 21 movement, KMP-Negros leaders and families of the victims went back to the 61st IBPA detachment at Tiling, Cauayan.

At the Tiling, Cauayan detachment, again the group were informed by Master Sgt. Visto and Master Sgt. Guza that the six (6) victims were brought to Negros Occidental Provincial Police Office (NOPPO), in Bacolod City. Immediately the Families and members of Karapatan-Negros then proceeded to NOPPO but unfortunately, the officer-in-charge denied the presence of the victims.

As of this time, the all seven (7) arrested are still missing.


Send letters, emails or fax messages calling for:

1. The immediate formation of an independent fact-finding and investigation team composed of representatives from human rights groups, the Church, local government, and the Commission on Human Rights that will look into the enforced disappearance of  Marilou H. Villanueva, Abraham D. Villanueva, Charity A. Villar, Morito Dionson, Darry P. Dayanan, Rico B. Abrasaldo and Jeremie A. Gellegan;

2. The arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators of the crimes of Arbitrary Arrest, Arbitrary Detention, Enforced Disappearance, Physical Assault,Illegal Search and Seizure, Divestment of Property and Threat, Harassment and Intimidation;

3. The immediate and proper indemnification of the family/relatives of the victims; and

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 its provisions.

You may send your communications to:

H.E. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
President of the Republic
Malacanang 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: /

Hon. Rene Sarmiento
OIC-Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
7F Agustin Building I
Emerald Avenue
Pasig City, Philippines
Voice: (+632) 636 0701 to 0766
Fax: (+632) 638 2216

Hon. Avelino Cruz
Secretary, Department of National Defense
Camp Emilio Aguinaldo
E. de los Santos Avenue,
Quezon City, Philippines
Voice: (+632) 912-9281
Fax: (+632) 911 6213

Hon. Purificacion Valera Quisumbing
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
43 Masikap St. Barangay Pinyahan, Quezon City 1100 PHILIPPINES
Voice: (+632) 435 4146 / Fax: (+632) 928 6078
Emails: <> / /


Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

To support this case, please click here: SEND APPEAL LETTER


Document Type : Forwarded Urgent Appeal
Document ID : FA-30-2005
Countries : Philippines,
Campaigns : Stop extra-judicial killings in the Philippines
Issues : Enforced disappearances and abductions,