BAYAN Philippines

While happy that Filipino-American activist Melissa Roxas was surfaced yesterday morning, the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan said that the search for her companions Juanito Carabeo and John Edward Handoc continues.

“It is regrettable that military and the police are either clueless or in a state of denial over the abductions of Roxas, Carabeo and Handoc. We are demanding the immediate surfacing of Carabeo and Handoc and an end to the pattern of enforced disappearances happening under the Arroyo regime. We call on Gloria Macapagal Arroyo herself to address the issue of the abduction of the three activists,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.

“The military in Tarlac claims that no such abduction took place. Are they not aware of a formal report filed by the La Paz police? We are again seeing the start of a wave of denial from the military. It is very unlikely that the military does not know the incident. They may be trying to cover up something,” Reyes said.

The three were abducted last May 19 in La Paz, Tarlac by at least eight armed men wearing bonnets and on board two motorcycles and a Besta van. The account came from the report of the La Paz police after receiving a complaint from witnesses in the abduction.

Roxas was surfaced after six days of being disappeared. The circumstances regarding her release are still unknown.

“We are holding the Arroyo government responsible for the abduction or Roxas and the continued disappearnce of Carabeo and Handoc. The manner of abduction has all the trademarks of a mliitary operation,” Reyes said.
Bayan’s chapter in the US has undertaken a campaign to release Roxas, Carabeo and Handoc.

“The abductors of Carabeo and Handoc must respect their rights. No harm must come to them. Too many have been abucted under this regime, some tortured, others never seen again. And since no one has been punished, there is now impunity,” Reyes said.

“What is needed now is to exert more pressure on the Arroyo regime to do everythin to surface the two abducted activists. We also hope that the United States government would stop supporting the Arroyo regime now that an American citizen has been a victim of abduction by suspected state security forces,” he added. ###