Call to surface two UP Baguio alumni continues

May 24, 2023

Northern Dispatch

BAGUIO CITY — From Baguio to the National Capital Region, calls to surface Dexter Capuyan and Gene Roz Jamil De Jesus continue following their alleged abduction by the police on April 28 in Taytay, Rizal.

“Amid the tension of the Miting de Avance, all political organizations united in amplifying the call to surface Manong Dexter and Kuya Bazoo,” said outgoing UPB-SC chairperson Iya Trinidad on May 19

On May 16, University of the Philippines Baguio student parties set aside their political differences to call for the surfacing of their two alumni and to culminate this year’s meeting de avance for the student council elections.

Trinidad said the May 16 student action shows that no matter the political color, organizations in the university stand for human rights.

“What the state forces did to our UP alumni is a manifestation of intensifying attacks on our rights. That is what unites us, to call for their immediate surfacing,” she added.

On May 10, the search team, which included family members and human rights groups, disclosed that men claiming to be from the Philippine National Police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) intercepted two passengers who matched the descriptions of Capuyan and De Jesus. The incident occurred near the SM City Mall, where at least two vehicles blocked their tricycle and forced the two passengers into different vehicles.

Cupuyan was the former editor-in-chief of the UP Baguio Outcrop and chair of the city-wide chapter of the League of Filipino Students while De Jesus, a 2016 communications cumlaude graduate, headed the Alliance of Concerned Students (ACS) and the University Council of Leaders.

There are three main student parties in UPB – ACS, Alternatibong Katipunan ng Mag-aaral sa UP (AKMA), and Campus Alliance for Dedicated and Unified Action (CADUA). The student elections, which concluded on May 18, saw a swift victory for ACS, with only one independent taking a spot.

Families, friends, and progressive groups also held a protest in front of Camp General Rafael T. Crame on May 15.

“These recent abductions of rights defenders under Marcos Jr.’s administration are a spitting image of his father’s atrocities during the dark years of martial law,” said Beverly Longid, national convenor of Katribu Kalipunan ng Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas, a national alliance of Indigenous Peoples’ organizations.

Before Cauyan and De Jesus, indigenous peoples’ rights advocates Mary Joyce Lizada and Arnulfo Aumentado also went missing in Mindoro. The search team later found them at Camp Mateo Capinpin in Tanay, Rizal, the Philippine Army’s 2nd Infantry Division headquarters.

Families and human rights groups have checked the Rizal Police Provincial Office, Taytay Municipal Police Station and Rizal Provincial Jail in Taytay, Laguna Police Provincial Office, Calamba City Police Station, Camp General Vicente Lim (headquarters of PNP Regional Office-IVA) in Calamba City, PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Region IV-A in Antipolo, Rizal, Camp Crame (headquarters of the PNP) in Quezon City, and the Police Regional Office Cordillera in Camp Bado Dangwa in La Trinidad, Benguet.

They also went to Camp General Mateo Capinpin, the headquarters of the Philippine Army’s 2nd Infantry Division in Tanay, Rizal, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ main base, Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo in Quezon City, Camp Henry Allen (where the headquarters of the Task Force Group Baguio under the 503rd Infantry Brigade is located) in Baguio City, and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency in Quezon City.”Unfortunately, only three of the above-mentioned police or military units have accomplished the forms provided by the family and their paralegal team and lawyers as per Republic Act No. 10353 or the Anti-Enforced Disappearance Act, while others did not provide information on Capuyan and De Jesus’ whereabouts,” Karapatan said. #

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