Abductions: A Shift from Killings – Youth Groups
BY JHONG DELA CRUZ
Posted 1:35 p.m. July 4, 2006
groups note that forced disappearances have replaced killings as tactic
on counter-insurgency as shown by the spate of abductions mostly in
belonging to Youth Dare (Youth Demanding Arroyo’s Removal) cited the
case of Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan who remain missing eight days
after they were abducted in Hagonoy town in Bulacan province on June 26.
Dion Carlo Cerrafon,
chair of the Student Christian Movement of the Philippines (SCMP) said,
“from extra-judicial killings, perpetrators believed to be agents of the
military has shifted to a more terrifying move to silence government
Empeño, 23 and
Cadapan, 25, were abducted with a local farmer Manuel Merino, 56, in San
Miguel village, Hagonoy town, Bulacan by armed men suspected to be
soldiers of the 71st Infantry Battalion. Maj. Gen. Jovito
Palparan, chief of the 7th Infantry Division in Central Luzon
claimed the three were members of the New People’s Army (NPA).
graduating Sociology student of the College of Social Sciences and
Philosophy and a member of the League of Filipino Students, has been
conducting a research on the farmer’s plight in Hagonoy to finish her
thesis this semester. Cadapan, a triathlete from the College of Human
Kinetics, is two-month pregnant at the time of their abduction.
SCMP noted at least
10 individuals who went missing last week. There have been 178 cases of
abductions since Arroyo was installed in 2001, noted SCMP.
The youth groups
have launched a signature drive in the University of the Philippines in
support of their calls for the military to surface the two students.
Eleanor de Guzman,
chair of Anakbayan, cringed at Palparan’s pronouncement confirming that
he has instructed “saturation campaign” in known NPA hotbeds in Bulacan.
of the League of Filipino Students (LFS) said, “It’s an act of cowardice
for the army troops against legal and unarmed civilians…forced
disappearances is more painful for the families who do not know what had
happened to their loved ones.”
The groups also
declared the youth’s “all out war” against the Arroyo government, who
has been besieged since the announcement of an intensified
anti-insurgency drive, following the release of P1 billion to finish off
the Communist Party of the Philippines and armed wing NPA in two years.
The groups will
today light candles along Katipunan Avenue, Taft Avenue and E. Rodriguez
to denounce the abductions.
turned Mindoro into a killing field, Samar into ghost town…now he is
wreaking havoc in Bulacan and Central Luzon. If there is someone that
the townsfolk would wish were gone, it’s Palparan and his army and not
Karen and Sherlyn,” de Guzman said.
increased after government pronouncements of the transfer of 1,500
military troops from Mindanao to Luzon and the recall of 3,000 troops
from security detail for deployment to critical areas. Bulatlat
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