Nagkaisa, the broadest coalition of labor groups in the Philippines, called on the national government to immediately act on the recent disappearances of several labor and peasant activists in the country.
“We are alarmed by this report as it brings back memories of what has done more than three decades ago. We urge the President himself to order his security forces to surface the missing persons in the report who disappeared after they were detained,” said Nagkaisa Chairperson Sonny Matula in a press statement on Thursday, July 14.
Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) members Elizabeth “Loi” Magbanua and Alipio “Ador” Juat have been missing since May 3 and were last seen at Barangay Punturin in Valenzuela City. They were reported to have been arrested on May 3.
Meanwhile, the other two – land rights advocates Elgene Mungcal of Gabriela Women’s Partylist and Ma. Elena “Cha” Cortez Pampoza of Anakpawis were missing since July 3. They were last seen at Winfare Supermarket, Moncada, Tarlac.
“Reports of the new disappearance, if true, sends a chilling reminder to the nation of this cruel act under martial law being repeated under Marcos Jr,” said Matula.
Matula then argued that even under the controversial Anti-Terror Law, authorities are allowed to hold “suspects” without charges for only 10 to 24 days.