PHILIPPINES: Eden Marcellana and Eddie Gumanoy – Abductions and Murder 


Urgent Appeal Case: UA-09-2003-01
ISSUES: Enforced disappearances and abductions, Human rights defenders,


On 21 April 2003 five Human Rights activists were abducted and two of them tortured and killed in Naujan Town, Oriental Mindoro province, Southern Tagalog.

The bodies of Eden Marcellana, Secretary General of the Alyans sa Pagsusulong ng Karapatang Pantao in Southern Tagalog (Karapatan-ST), and Eddie Gumanoy, Chairperson of the peasant group, KASAMA-TK (Kasapian ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan) were found the following day in Bansud Town.

The five activists, Eden Marcellana (f), Eddie Gumanoy (m), and Virgillo Catoy (m), a film-maker, Francisco Saez (m), and Melvin Jocson (m) were returning from Gloria Town, in Mindoro Oriental where they had been investigating the reported abduction of three people by the Philippine army’s 204th Brigade. Eden Marcellana was heavily involved in exposing human rights abuses in the Southern Tagalog area which were claimed to be perpetrated by the military.

According to the survivors and the victims’ families, the masked men who murdered Eden Marcellana and Edie Gumanoy, claimed they were members of the “Alsa Masa”, the anti-communist vigilante group founded in Davao in the 1980s. However, Karapatan aand the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan party-list group claim that the Philippine military was responsible. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo called on the Department of Justice (DoJ) to investigate the murders.


Please write to express your concern at the abduction of Eden Marcellana, Eddie Gumanoy, Virgilio Catoy, Francisco Saez and Melvin Jocson on 21 April, and the summary executions of Eden Marcellana and Eddie Gumanoy.

Write to the authorities to call for a full and impartial investigation into the abduction and deaths of Eden Marcellana and Eddie Gumanoy, and into the abduction of Virgilio Catoy, Francisco Saez and Melvin Jocson.

Send a clear message that human rights violations, including forced disappearances, extra-judicial killings and torture, will not be tolerated under any circumstances. Those responsible, including those in uniform, who commit these crimes, should be found and brought to justice.

Send letters to:

Secretary of National Defense

General Angelo Reyes

Department of National Defense

Camp Aguinaldo

E. de los Santos Avenue

Quezon City


Telegrams: Defense Secretary, Quezon City, Philippines

Fax: + 632 911 6213

Salutation: Dear Secretary Reyes

President of the Republic of the Philippines

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

Malaca?ng Palace

J.P. Laurel Street

San Miguel 1005, Manila


Telegrams: President Macapagal-Arroyo, Manila, Philippines

Fax: + 632 736 1010 / 832 3793

Salutation: Dear President


Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights

Hon. Purificacion Valera Quisumbing

SAAC Building, UP Complex

Commonwealth Avenue

Diliman 1100, Quezon City


Fax: + 632 926 6188 / 928 7240


Salutation: Dear Chairperson

and to the diplomatic representatives of the Philippines accredited to your country.

Thank you.


AHRC Urgent Appeals Programme

Asian Human Rights Commission