KIDAPAWAN CITY – Two senior communist rebel leaders were reported missing in southern Philippines and believed abducted by the military, Marcella Arsenio, a spokesman for the New People’s Army said.
The duo – Lora Manipis, also known as Ka Al; and husband Jerual Domingo, alias Ka Jamjam, – had been missing since February 24, but the rebel group only reported this matter on Monday.
Arsenio said the couple also served as peace talks consultants for the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, the political wing of the rebel group. He said the duo was last seen in Kidapawan City in North Cotabato province. “Both vanished without trace since February 24, 2018. Witnesses last saw the couple in Kidapawan City and they had not made any contact with their family and comrades since then,” he said.
At the time of their disappearance, they were arranging for activities related to the peace process and mining issues affecting tribesmen in nearby South Cotabato province where the large-scale operations of X-trata Mining is located in Tampakan town, according to Arsenio.
He said Manipis was a former student activist before joining the NPA and spent more than a decade of her life in organizing mass movements and branded by the rebel group as a “revolutionary leader” who helped achieve the rapid expansion in the mass base and wage successful mass struggles in the region. While her husband, who came from a Protestant family, is an “exemplary Red fighter and commander tested in hardships and sacrifices in doing painstaking revolutionary work in the guerrilla bases and zones of Saranggani and South Cotabato provinces.”
Before the couple disappeared, Arsenio said military intelligence agents spied on the home of the duo for two years and had recently interrogated their daughter while she was in school.
“We condemn the couple’s forced disappearance, the unbridled violation of their rights and the reactionary government and military’s refusal to surface them,” Arsenio said. “We hold President Rodrigo Duterte and his fascist regime accountable for the forced disappearance of Ka Al and Ka Jamjam and other fascist crimes.”
“Their forced disappearance exposes the regime’s lack of genuine interest in the peace process and its penchant to use dastardly ways to suppress the revolutionary forces. It exposes the tyranny of Duterte’s terrorist regime and its mockery of the peace process and towards individuals like Manipis and Domingo who have been working tirelessly for a just peace and for the resumption of the peace talks,” he added.
Arsenio said since Duterte won the presidency in 2016, they have recorded over 6,200 cases or victims of human rights atrocities in Mindanao, including 20 victims of extrajudicial killings, 22 illegal arrest and detention, and 6,185 victims of displacement and evacuation due to the government’s anti-insurgency campaigns.
He said aside from Manipis and Domingo, other communist consultants Leo Velasco, Rogelio Calubad, Prudencio Calubid, NDFP staff members Philip Limjoco, Leopoldo Ancheta, Federico Intise and his wife Nelly, were allegedly abducted by the military.
“We fear that Manipis and Domingo may have already been executed by intelligence and military operatives, or are suffering from intense torture and other violations of international humanitarian law,” Arsenio said.
There was no immediate statement from the military or government on Arsenio’s allegations. The NPA has been fighting for many decades now for the establishment of a separate state in the country. Government peace talks with the rebels have collapsed after communist negotiators demanded Duterte to free over 500 NPA leaders and members detained for various crimes, and a coalition government. (Mindanao Examiner)
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