The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Northern Mindanao (CHR10) began its investigation on the abduction of National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultant Ariel Badiang in Bukidnon by elements of Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Eastern Command in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon last February 6.
His kin and legal counsel inquired to the troops in Manolo Fortich but denied having Badiang in custody. No further information was given to them with regard to Badiang.
“The Quick Response Operation team proceeded to the 1st SF battalion, Phil. Army at Mampayag, Manolo Fortich where the team was accommodated by Lt. Kent Masado he informed the team that there was no incident of arrest, apprehension or encounter that transpired on 6th of February 2023,” CHR-10 regional director lawyer Jeanne Ivy Abrina said.
CHR-10 also found out that Badiang has pending arrest warrants for two counts of attempted murder charges issued by a court in Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur and Mabini in Davao de Oro.
According to CHR-10, enforced disappearances are grave offenses against one’s human rights, hence leading to a state-led investigation in accordance with the Anti-Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance Act of 2012.
QROs were further launched in CHR offices in Davao, Caraga, and Zamboanga region since Badiang cannot be traced in Northern Mindanao.
Rights group Karapatan further urged the commission and the International Committee on the Red Cross (ICRC) to provide urgent assistance to the missing consultant’s family in searching for Badiang.
“Under domestic laws on rights of persons arrested, detained or under custodial investigation, against torture and enforced disappearance, any individual should not be held in secret detention facilities or safehouses and should be afforded their right to access their family, lawyers or any legal representative,” said Karapatan in a statement.
The rights group added that Badiang is also protected under the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and has the immunity from arrest or enforced disappearance under the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) to which the NDFP and the Philippine government are both signatories.
“Badiang must be surfaced and his rights should be recognized and respected. State authorities must put a stop to their practice of summarily executing, abducting or causing the involuntary disappearance of NDFP consultants,”
Palabay said NDFP consultants who have been extrajudicially killed include Randy Malayao, Randall Echanis, Reynaldo Bocala, Pedro Codaste, Agaton Topacio and Eugenia Magpantay, while consultants Leo Velasco, Prudencio Calubid and Philip Limjoco were abducted and remain missing to this day.
“As we conduct a parallel independent probe, CHR calls for urgent action from the local police and other concerned agencies to uncover the full truth of this latest report of the alleged abduction of another NDFP consultant.