AFP beefs up search for missing activists

Posters were already disseminated in various locations including in the housing units and personnel quarters inside Camp Aguinaldo since 17 November.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines announced that it has intensified its search efforts for missing labor activists Alipio Juat and Elizabeth Magbanua.

In compliance with the writ of Amparo in favor of missing activists, Deputy Provost Marshal General of the AFP Col. Danilo Dupiag met with Manila Police District director BGen Andre Dizon and Intelligence Director P/Col. Samuel Pabonito on 15 November to request information on the activities of the missing persons before reportedly disappearing on 3 May.

Dupiag also met for a dialogue with several detainees in Quezon City Police District, but the consultation resulted that “they did not see the missing persons.”

Posters were already disseminated in various locations including in the housing units and personnel quarters inside Camp Aguinaldo since 17 November.

Earlier, the AFP created a fact-finding committee that will “conduct speedy, comprehensive, and exhaustive investigation” on the continued disappearance of Magbanua and Juat through a letter directive dated 5 October 2022.

The AFP’s move was in compliance with the Petition for Writ of Amparo filed by the relatives of the missing persons before the Supreme Court and granted by the Court of Appeals in a decision on 9 September.

“Without any specific pronouncement on exact authorship and responsibility, (the Court) declare(s) the respondents (military) accountable for the enforced disappearance and continued disappearance of Magbanua and Juat,” said the court in an order granting the writ of Amparo sought by the activists’ families.

The AFP Provost Marshal General leads the committee as its chairperson with the Deputy Army Provost Marshal; Command Provost Marshal of JTF-NCR; the Legal Officer of the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, OJ2; and a representative from the AFP Center for Law of Armed Conflict as members.

The Court of Appeals has earlier ordered AFP chief of staff Lt. Gen. Bartolome Bacarro, Jose Faustino Jr., officer in charge of the Department of National Defense, National Intelligence Coordinating Agency director general Ricardo de Leon and Philippine Army chief Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. to “utilize all technical and modern technological resources at its disposal to assist in locating their whereabouts and once and for all determine the truth behind their continued disappearance.”


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