Women’s party-list calls for House probe on arrest of 4 activists

GABRIELA Party-list Rep. Arlene D. Brosas has filed a resolution calling for a probe on the recent arrests of four activists, all of whom have unknown locations, she said in a statement on Sunday.  

“This is state-enforced ghosting, which the Congress should take seriously,” Ms. Brosas said.   

“Four activists have been missing for weeks. Two of them disappeared at the start of the Marcos Jr. regime,” she said, referring to President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. who started his term on June 30.   

House Resolution 86 seeks to investigate the detention of activists Elizabeth “Loi” Magbanua, Alipio “Ador” Juat, Elgene Mungcal and Ma. Elena “Cha” Cortez Pampoza. 

Ms. Magbanua and Mr. Juat, both members of the labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), have been missing since May 3; while Ms. Mungcal, a member of Gabriela, and Ms. Pampoza of Anakpawis, the electoral arm of KMU, have been missing since July 3.  

“We join the call to surface Loi, Ador, Cha, Elgene, and others abducted by the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines). We also put Marcos Jr. to task in revoking Duterte’s Executive Order 70, which has laid the framework for the government’s ‘whole of nation approach’ towards militarization and brutal attacks towards civilian advocates,” said Ms. Brosas.  

Kabataan Party-list Rep. Raoul Danniel A. Manuel also condemned the arrests, and further cited the apprehension of brothers Ismael and Mawing Pangdas, both members of the Kabataan Party-list, in Davao City during the State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 25.  

The two party-lists, along with ACT Teachers Party-list represented by France L. Castro, have filed House Bill 2484 or the Human Rights Defenders Protection Bill.  

“This bill will serve as a deterrent to attacks against human rights defenders or activists especially those sponsored by the government,” said Ms. Castro.  

The three party-lists are the remaining members of the Makabayan bloc with seats in Congress. The coalition is composed of 13 party-lists. — Matthew Carl L. Montecillo