May 25, 2024 (5:31 PM)

3 min read

54 views

Graphics by Mariz Aylah Cenojas

Highlighting the continuation of human rights abuses faced by activists under the Marcos administration, progressive groups and advocates clamor for answers regarding the disappearance of veteran labor organizer for Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU – Southern Mindanao Region) William Lariosa, who has been missing since April 10, 2024.

Last seen in Brgy. Butong, Quezon, Bukidnon, eyewitnesses claimed Lariosa was allegedly forcibly arrested by members of the 48th Infantry Battalion.

According to Anakbayan – Southern Mindanao Region spokesperson Beverly Gofredo, the rising cases of enforced disappearances targeting activists is a concerning pattern that is reminiscent of the past Martial Law regime.

“Concerning siya, the fact na wala namang ibang ginawa ang mga manggagawa, mga aktibista, kundi ipaglaban yung karapatan ng mga mamamayang Pilipino. This is de facto Martial Law, hindi formally nag declare ng Martial Law pero makikita natin na ito ay pattern of different regimes, specifically pattern na kinuha ni Marcos Jr. galing sa kaniyang ama na isang diktador.”

“Nangangamba kami na ito ay mangyayari ulit, kitang-kita naman ang mga pangyayari ngayon, like abductions, red-tagging, and other attacks sa mga progresibong organisasyon at mga organisador,” she added.

Gofredo said that a hearing was held last April 18, in which 48IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Gilbert Gomez denied that Lariosa is in the custody of the battalion.

“Until now, di pa rin naman kami tumitigil sa paghahanap kay William Lariosa, madali lang i-deny ng Armed Forces of the Philippines especially ng 48th Infantry Battalion na wala sa kanilang kamay si Lariosa, pero it doesn’t mean na wala talaga sa kanila kasi hindi lang ito ang unang beses na may mga nangyaring abduction, dito sa administrasyon ni Marcos Jr.,” the spokesperson said.

Gofredo also cited the case of Jonila Castro and Jhed Tamano, who were activists fighting for the rights of fishing communities in Manila Bay before being abducted by military officers in Bataan and forced to surrender.

“In-abduct sila ng Philippine National Police, and then prinesent as mga surrenderees ng National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict or NTF-ELCAC, pero before yun dineny yun ng PNP, AFP, and NTF-ELCAC na nasa kamay nila ang dalawa, and nung pagka presscon ay mismo silang dalawa ay prinesent nila ang kanilang sarili na pinilit lang sila na ipa surrender ng mismong estado, which is why we believe na nasa kamay ng Armed Forces of the Philippines, kasi ang mismong estado, ganito ang ginagawa nila ngayon, na kinukuha nila at ina-abduct, at prinepresent sa media as surendurree kahit hindi naman part of the New People’s Army,” Gofredo said.

According to data from the Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR), Lariosa is the 24th victim of enforced disappearance under the Marcos administration and is the first reported abduction of a labor organizer in the Mindanao region.

Gofredo also emphasized the significant responsibility of young people in advocating for workers’ rights and other societal issues, encouraging the youth to share stories that reflect the problems faced by laborers and other sectors.

“Pwede itong ipa laganap through social media, and of course, sumali sa mga national democratic mass organizations, para buo ang laban kaugnay doon sa paglaban para sa ating democratic rights. Lastly, sumali sa mga kilos protesta katulad ng May One, dahil tayo mga kabataan ay very critical and very open-minded and nagtatanong talaga tayo dahil gusto natin ng pagbabago,” she said.

As of writing, Lariosa’s whereabouts are still unknown. 



End the silence of the gagged!

© 2024 Atenews

Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy