DND, AFP to probe cases of missing activists


September 11, 2022

The Department of National Defense on Saturday said it will comply with the Court of Appeal’s directive to the military to probe the alleged disappearances of activists and labor union organizers Elizabeth “Loi” Magbanua and Alipio “Ador” Juat.

DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong emphasized the DND and its bureaus are “duty-bound to abide” by the laws in the country and “respect human rights.”

“We believe in our judicial processes and that they must be allowed to run their course. As such, we shall comply with the order of the Court of Appeals,” he added.

Meanwhile, acting Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesperson, Col. Medel Aguilar, said they have yet to receive a copy of the CA resolution order.

“Those are legal issues that need the services of our lawyers. We need to consult them first. It is, therefore, unnecessary for us to comment on it for now as we also have to seek the advice of our lawyers on the issue at hand,” Medel said when sought for comments if the AFP would comply with the CA’s order.

Medel said the AFP will continue to carry out its tasks as a “constitutionally mandated organization” in charge of protecting the people and defending the State.

“We will always do what is necessary to work with our people, and to ensure their safety,” he added.

The activists, Magbanua and Juat, were last seen during a meeting with other fellow organizers in Valenzuela City on 3 May, when they were allegedly nabbed by the government troops and believed to be held captive at the AFP General Headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

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