Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Missing Young Woman IN East Visayas Resurfaced as Propaganda Pawn and War Trophy of Military

Alyansa ha Pagpanalipod han Tawhanon nga Katungod ha Sinirangan Bisayas
(Alliance for the Advancement of People's Rights in Eastern Visayas)
Email: katungodsbisayas@yahoo.com, xandre24@yahoo.com
Website: http://www.karapatan.org
P.O. Box 204, Tacloban Central Post Office, Tacloban City, 6500 Leyte

September 29, 2005


Regional Director

Commission on Human Rights (CHR)

Tacloban City

Dear Sir:

Warm Greetings!

Last Tuesday, September 27, 2005, at about 7:00 o'clock in the evening, the military presented to the public a certain Yelen Acebedo or Ka Lyka through Tribune ha Diwa, a block-time program broadcasted over Radio Diwa, DyDW, 531 KHz on the local AM Band, as a rebel returnee.

We are grossly alarmed by such airing of the program, because Yelen Acebedo is, one of those reported missing in our monitoring center and entered as KATUNGOD-SB Case No. 05-07-12 (ES). We have called up your attention on this case and sought your assistance in finding her along with Genalyn Ladisla, a native of Can-avid, Samar last August 4, 2005. We will furnish you with the tape and transcription later for your perusal.

The military, through the anchors of the block-time program "Tribune ha Diwa [1]" in the persons of Marlon Taño [2] and Zenaida "Babes" Adona [3] painted Yelen Acebedo to be a member of the New People's Army who surrendered to them last September 20, 2005 (seven days after she left the NPA, Babes Adona said). She was interrogated and allowed to give testimony on air without counsel. Based on our assessment, her statements were self-incriminating. Is she being held as a "propaganda pawn" of the Armed Forces of the Philippines as stated in "Operation Plan Gold Rust 8"? We wish to know.

Meanwhile, Marlon A. Taño on the August 29-September 4, 2005 issue of the Tribune Newspaper (Vol. 3, No. 25) wrote again that Yelen Acebedo @ Lyka was among the 180 personalities neutralized by Brig Gen. Jovito S. Palparan Jr. that gave him the warrant to be decorated with the Military Merit Medal when he was relieved last August 25, 2005. So, that justifies her abduction. Was this young lady on mere suspicion of being an NPA, was presented as Palparan's war trophy and medal for the counter-insurgency terror in Eastern Visayas? Attached is a copy of the newspaper article for your perusal.

Based on the testimony on air, the youngster said that she is currently under the custody of Col. Joel Cabides, the deputy brigade commander of the 801 st Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army based Camp Eugenio Daza in Brgy. Fatima, Hinabangan town, Western Samar. The 801st Brigade has the direct operational control (OPCON) over the 14 th Infantry Battalion based in Brgy. Dao, Oras, Eastern Samar where Genalyn Ladisla and Yelen Acebedo were previously reported to be held in detention.

May I ask you this one serious question: Why could the military authorities hide from a constitutional body like the CHR the fact that they were holding custody of the missing persons we have been searching for almost three (3) months now? Please understand that I am making this known because abductions and enforced disappearances are now a daily occurrence in our region. Without the benefit of legal warrants of arrests or search papers, individuals are being abducted, detained, interrogated, tortured and killed by no other than elements of the Philippine Army – state security agents/forces at that – with impunity! How then can anyone be secured in this climate of terror created by the Armed Forces of the Philippines?

You have informed us earlier last September 14, 2005 that Genalyn Ladisla and Yelen Acebedo who were missing since July 12, 2005, were not in military's custody when we requested you to help us (KATUNGOD-SB and Genalyn Ladisla's relatives) in the search efforts. Your investigator visited the Camp/Headquarters of the 14 th IB located at Brgy. Dao, Oras, Eastern Samar last September 12, 2005.

If you could have listened to the propaganda line that the militarists-propagandists have inculcated into the mind of this young Yelen Acebedo two nights ago, certainly you will feel the uncertainty that we feel. She was made to 'say/accuse' that "legitimate rallies in Tacloban made by progressive groups are infiltrated and run by New People's Army" – the same propaganda line of that of the military officials particularly Col. Reynaldo Lanuzo (CO of the 62 nd IB PA), Major Neneveigh Alcovindas (CO of the 31st CRG-CAU-AFP), Major General Bonifacio Ramos (CG of the 8ID PA), Brig. General Roberto Ver (CO of the 801st IBde PA), Col. Manuelito Usi (CO of the 63 rd IB PA), among others, who said that their institution is a professional entity.

Please be alarmed that this maybe a signal coming from the military officials for their continued violence in the city streets during mass mobilizations and rallies-demonstrations. I therefore invoke the guarantees of the constitution that this Commission was founded on – parallel to the declaration of Commissioner Quisumbing that "rallies and demonstrations on the streets are guaranteed by the 1987 Philippine Constitution, thus, should not be restrained by permits".

Yelen Acebedo's public testimony over "Tribune ha Diwa" was also used by Zenaida "Babes" Adona to malign the credibility of the International Solidarity Mission (ISM) and KATUNGOD-Sinirangan Bisayas. Adona made it appear that Yelen Acebedo is a victim of the New People's Army and thus, should be investigated upon by our group.

I would like to make it known to you that in behalf of the currently concluded ISM's Regional Secretariat which I headed and the KATUNGOD-SB/KARAPATAN (duly registered at the Securities and Exchange Commission and acknowledged by Royal Norwegian Government in our human rights advocacy and development initiatives), that this case was taken/investigated by the ISM last August 14-19, 2005. Mrs. Obingayan-Julianes testified in front of the ISM and sought the help of foreign human rights defenders and observers for the resurfacing of Genalyn Ladisla and Yelen Acebedo.

We still do not know the whereabouts of Ms. Genalyn Obingayan-Ladisla. Where is she being held by her abductors? Please facilitate our queries to the 801 st Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army based in Fatima, Hinabangan, Samar headed by Brig. General Roberto Ver (commanding officer) and Col. Joel Cabides (deputy commanding officer).
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We are hoping for your most favorable response.

For the advancement of human rights, I remain,

Respectfully yours,




Copy furnished:

Local Media Outlets in Tacloban

Fr. Joseph Suson, Station Manager, Radio Diwa and KBP-EV Chairperson

National Media Outlets

CHR National Office

Most Rev. Bishop Jose Palma, Diocese of Calbayog

Cong. Catalino Figueroa, 1st District of Samar

Cong. Reynaldo Uy, MD., 2nd District of Samar

Cong. Marcelino Libanan, Lone District of Eastern Samar

Bayan Muna Party-List

An Waray Party-List

Gabriela Women's Party-List

KARAPATAN National Office

Ecumenical Movement for Justice and Peace (EMJP) National Office

Promotion of Church People's Response (PCPR) National Office

GRP Section of the JS, JMC of the CARHRIHL

NDFP Section of the JS, JMC of the CARHRIHL

International Solidarity Mission Human Rights Observers and Delegates

Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), Hongkong

Human Rights Watch (HRW), New York

United Nations Office of the Commissioner on Human Rights

[1] Based on the reported affiliations of its anchorpersons, one cannot expect impartiality and fairness expected of media practitioners from this radio program. Listening to this block-timer since its maiden broadcast in 2004 will prove to the bias of the anchors and the program which we see as gross disregard to the "Journalists' Code of Ethics".

[2] Alleged by the listeners of Radio Diwa through their comments and reactions in text messages in various programs broadcasted in this radio station as a part of the Civil Relations Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (CRS-AFP). The CHR may have access to confirm his affiliation to the Philippine Army and its civil-relations unit

[3] Reported in a radio program of Radio Diwa (relayed through a text message) to be an element of the CRS-AFP with Serial Number 840-272 620:Bn last 14 November 2004. Zenaida Adona is reported to have the rank of sergeant. The same reports were broadcasted in the now defunct Bombo Radyo Tacloban. These information need to be confirmed, however.


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