MAKABAYAN Coalition Statement

Former House representative and MAKABAYAN Coalition vice president Liza Maza lambasted the latest Commission of Human Rights (CHR) report signed by its chair Ma. Loretta Ann Rosales absolving state forces from the abduction and torture of Melissa Roxas in 2009.

Maza called Rosales a “coddler of torturers”.

“It is a fact that Melissa was abducted and tortured. This is attested to in the August 26, 2009 Court of Appeals decision on the matter of the petition for the writ of amparo and habeas data in favor of Melissa Roxas which ruled in the affirmative that her rights were violated,” Maza said.

“In Rosales’ mind, there was no torture involved. With the official CHR findings, she has practically coddled the torturers and even presented in her findings the stupid military line that there is a what she calls a strong indication of the involvement of the New People’s Army (NPA),” Maza added.

While the court was hearing the amparo case, ex-army general Jovito Palparan of Bantay party-list and Pastor Alcover of the Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy party-list held a press conference alleging that they received an information from a female NPA rebel that Roxas was a communist rebel. Alcover claimed that said information reached them thru a letter with a photo and a video CD of the supposed NPA training exercises.

“The appeals court refused to accept this,” Maza quoting the decision on the granting of Writ of Habeas Data that “the unregulated dissemination of said unverified video CD or reports of Petitioner’s (Roxas’) alleged ties with the CPP-NPA indiscriminately made available for public consumption without evidence of its authenticity or veracity certainly violates Petitioner’s right to privacy which must be protected by this Court. We, thus, deem it necessary to grant Petitioner the privilege of the Writ of Habeas Data.”

“The CHR Chair, instead of exercising impartiality like the courts, believed her so-called ‘credible sources’ without showing any authentication to her reports. The Commission on Human Rights should henceforth be renamed as the Commission for Hearsay Reports,” Maza said.

Makabayan supports the broad-based Justice for Melissa Roxas (J4MR) campaign of organizations, churches, and individuals to pursue justice and accountability in her case. []

It is a documented fact that Melissa Roxas, an American citizen, was abducted on May 19th, 2009 while on a medical mission in La Paz, Tarlac. Roxas was held against her will and tortured via physical beatings and asphyxiation for the duration of her captivity until she surfaced in Quezon City on May 25th, 2009.

Melissa studied at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and spent a summer studying abroad in San Nicolas de Hidalgo University, Michoacan, Mexico and, in the latter part of her college years, at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Santiago, Chile. After her research project was completed, she backpacked throughout South America for about two months that included treks through Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil and Argentina.

Upon graduating Cum Laude at the University of California, San Diego, with a BS in Animal Physiology and Neuroscience; a BA in Third World Studies; and a minor in Healthcare and Social Issues; Melissa worked as a community health youth organizer, a cultural activist with HABI Arts and BAYAN-USA.