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UPDATE ON THE RECENT ALLEGED ABDUCTION OF MELISSA ROXAS, JUANITO CARABEO, AND EDWARD HANDOC AS REPORTED BY KARAPATAN AND BAYAN
27 May 2009. The Philippine Government is committed to the protection and promotion of human rights and takes very seriously any report or allegation of abuse of human rights. With regard to reports on the abduction of Filipino American activist Melissa Roxas and her two companions, Juanito Carabeo and Edward Handoc, police authorities are currently investigating this. We encourage all those who may have information to cooperate with the police.
As allegations of abuse of human rights has been made, the Presidential Human Rights Committee (PHRC) has looked into this and its Secretariat released today the following update:
    “As a policy, we consider with serious doubts all allegations of human rights violations from groups like Karapatan, Bayan and their allied organizations, given their penchant for and track record in coming up with unfounded allegations, and for bringing such cases before the media and international organizations with nary an intent to officially refer such cases to government for proper action. 
    We recall the 836 alleged cases of unsolved killings (aka extra-judicial killings) Karapatan released to media in 2006 but which was eventually debunked to be an exaggeration, and the recent 1,016 alleged cases of torture it raised before the UN Committee Against Torture and which to this date remain unsubstantiated.
    Hence, on this recent allegation of abduction and enforced disappearances, the PHRC Secretariat immediately referred the matter to the Coalition Against Involuntary Disappearances (CAID), a more credible alliance of NGOs involved in cases of disappeared persons, to verify if indeed such a case did exist.
    Initial information from the Families of Involuntary Disappearances (FIND) and the Asian Federation Against Disappearances (AFAD), both active member-organizations of the CAID, based on their on-going investigations, revealed the following:
    •  There are no reports of this case in the local government office or with local police authorities of the Municipality of La Paz, Tarlac, where the abduction allegedly took place, filed by anyone, let alone Bayan and Karapatan.  This is surprising considering that both organizations would know that the standard operating procedure is for such cases to be immediately filed by the interested party/ies.
    •  Roxas has already surfaced, while Carabeo and Handoc are allegedly still missing.  On the other hand, Roxas, and for that matter Bayan and Karapatan, have yet to come out with a statement as to the actual circumstances of the alleged abduction.
    •  There is strong possibility that Roxas and company were on an “immersion” in NPA-infested areas.  And that the NPAs could have hidden them for safety purposes, perhaps after receiving reports of a possible encounter or attack by government forces.  At some point, organizations like Bayan and Karapatan wanted to take advantage of the situation by letting loose a press statement that an abduction took place, in anticipation of the possibility that Roxas and company would be killed in the crossfire.  Fortunately, no such incident occurred. 
    •  Another scenario being contemplated on is that Roxas was released by the NPAs precisely because her “immersion” was over, and that her two companions, being actually active members of the movement, have opted to stay on with their colleagues.
    •  Despite due diligence by FIND and AFAD, there are no leads that direct to an incident of abduction.
    Simply put, there is high probability that the alleged abduction of these persons has been fabricated.
    Karapatan and Bayan have been very silent lately.  There is apprehension, even among other NGOs and CSOs, that both are busy fabricating another story to explain the sudden surfacing of Roxas and the continued “disappearance” of the other two, all at the expense of the Philippine government.
    As of this writing, law enforcement authorities contacted by the PHRC Secretariat have denied ever receiving reports or having been informed of any abduUPDATE ON THE RECENT ALLEGED ABDUCTION OF MELISSA ROXAS, JUANITO CARABEO, AND EDWARD HANDOC AS REPORTED BY KARAPATAN AND BAYAN
27 May 2009. The Philippine Government is committed to the protection and promotion of human rights and takes very seriously any report or allegation of abuse of human rights. With regard to reports on the abduction of Filipino American activist Melissa Roxas and her two companions, Juanito Carabeo and Edward Handoc, police authorities are currently investigating this. We encourage all those who may have information to cooperate with the police.
As allegations of abuse of human rights has been made, the Presidential Human Rights Committee (PHRC) has looked into this and its Secretariat released today the following update:
    “As a policy, we consider with serious doubts all allegations of human rights violations from groups like Karapatan, Bayan and their allied organizations, given their penchant for and track record in coming up with unfounded allegations, and for bringing such cases before the media and international organizations with nary an intent to officially refer such cases to government for proper action. 
    We recall the 836 alleged cases of unsolved killings (aka extra-judicial killings) Karapatan released to media in 2006 but which was eventually debunked to be an exaggeration, and the recent 1,016 alleged cases of torture it raised before the UN Committee Against Torture and which to this date remain unsubstantiated.
    Hence, on this recent allegation of abduction and enforced disappearances, the PHRC Secretariat immediately referred the matter to the Coalition Against Involuntary Disappearances (CAID), a more credible alliance of NGOs involved in cases of disappeared persons, to verify if indeed such a case did exist.
    Initial information from the Families of Involuntary Disappearances (FIND) and the Asian Federation Against Disappearances (AFAD), both active member-organizations of the CAID, based on their on-going investigations, revealed the following:
    •  There are no reports of this case in the local government office or with local police authorities of the Municipality of La Paz, Tarlac, where the abduction allegedly took place, filed by anyone, let alone Bayan and Karapatan.  This is surprising considering that both organizations would know that the standard operating procedure is for such cases to be immediately filed by the interested party/ies.
    •  Roxas has already surfaced, while Carabeo and Handoc are allegedly still missing.  On the other hand, Roxas, and for that matter Bayan and Karapatan, have yet to come out with a statement as to the actual circumstances of the alleged abduction.
    •  There is strong possibility that Roxas and company were on an “immersion” in NPA-infested areas.  And that the NPAs could have hidden them for safety purposes, perhaps after receiving reports of a possible encounter or attack by government forces.  At some point, organizations like Bayan and Karapatan wanted to take advantage of the situation by letting loose a press statement that an abduction took place, in anticipation of the possibility that Roxas and company would be killed in the crossfire.  Fortunately, no such incident occurred. 
    •  Another scenario being contemplated on is that Roxas was released by the NPAs precisely because her “immersion” was over, and that her two companions, being actually active members of the movement, have opted to stay on with their colleagues.
    •  Despite due diligence by FIND and AFAD, there are no leads that direct to an incident of abduction.
    Simply put, there is high probability that the alleged abduction of these persons has been fabricated.
    Karapatan and Bayan have been very silent lately.  There is apprehension, even among other NGOs and CSOs, that both are busy fabricating another story to explain the sudden surfacing of Roxas and the continued “disappearance” of the other two, all at the expense of the Philippine government.
    As of this writing, law enforcement authorities contacted by the PHRC Secretariat have denied ever receiving reports or having been informed of any abduction.
    The PHRC Secretariat shall be posting developments on this case.” ▪
27 May 2009. The Philippine Government is committed to the protection and promotion of human rights and takes very seriously any report or allegation of abuse of human rights. With regard to reports on the abduction of Filipino American activist Melissa Roxas and her two companions, Juanito Carabeo and Edward Handoc, police authorities are currently investigating this. We encourage all those who may have information to cooperate with the police.
As allegations of abuse of human rights has been made, the Presidential Human Rights Committee (PHRC) has looked into this and its Secretariat released today the following update:
    “As a policy, we consider with serious doubts all allegations of human rights violations from groups like Karapatan, Bayan and their allied organizations, given their penchant for and track record in coming up with unfounded allegations, and for bringing such cases before the media and international organizations with nary an intent to officially refer such cases to government for proper action. 
    We recall the 836 alleged cases of unsolved killings (aka extra-judicial killings) Karapatan released to media in 2006 but which was eventually debunked to be an exaggeration, and the recent 1,016 alleged cases of torture it raised before the UN Committee Against Torture and which to this date remain unsubstantiated.
    Hence, on this recent allegation of abduction and enforced disappearances, the PHRC Secretariat immediately referred the matter to the Coalition Against Involuntary Disappearances (CAID), a more credible alliance of NGOs involved in cases of disappeared persons, to verify if indeed such a case did exist.
    Initial information from the Families of Involuntary Disappearances (FIND) and the Asian Federation Against Disappearances (AFAD), both active member-organizations of the CAID, based on their on-going investigations, revealed the following:
    •  There are no reports of this case in the local government office or with local police authorities of the Municipality of La Paz, Tarlac, where the abduction allegedly took place, filed by anyone, let alone Bayan and Karapatan.  This is surprising considering that both organizations would know that the standard operating procedure is for such cases to be immediately filed by the interested party/ies.
    •  Roxas has already surfaced, while Carabeo and Handoc are allegedly still missing.  On the other hand, Roxas, and for that matter Bayan and Karapatan, have yet to come out with a statement as to the actual circumstances of the alleged abduction.
    •  There is strong possibility that Roxas and company were on an “immersion” in NPA-infested areas.  And that the NPAs could have hidden them for safety purposes, perhaps after receiving reports of a possible encounter or attack by government forces.  At some point, organizations like Bayan and Karapatan wanted to take advantage of the situation by letting loose a press statement that an abduction took place, in anticipation of the possibility that Roxas and company would be killed in the crossfire.  Fortunately, no such incident occurred. 
    •  Another scenario being contemplated on is that Roxas was released by the NPAs precisely because her “immersion” was over, and that her two companions, being actually active members of the movement, have opted to stay on with their colleagues.
    •  Despite due diligence by FIND and AFAD, there are no leads that direct to an incident of abduction.
    Simply put, there is high probability that the alleged abduction of these persons has been fabricated.
    Karapatan and Bayan have been very silent lately.  There is apprehension, even among other NGOs and CSOs, that both are busy fabricating another story to explain the sudden surfacing of Roxas and the continued “disappearance” of the other two, all at the expense of the Philippine government.
    As of this writing, law enforcement authorities contacted by the PHRC Secretariat have denied ever receiving reports or having been informed of any abduction.
    The PHRC Secretariat shall be posting developments on this case.” ▪
UPDATE ON THE RECENT ALLEGED ABDUCTION OF MELISSA ROXAS, JUANITO CARABEO, AND EDWARD HANDOC AS REPORTED BY KARAPATAN AND BAYAN
27 May 2009. The Philippine Government is committed to the protection and promotion of human rights and takes very seriously any report or allegation of abuse of human rights. With regard to reports on the abduction of Filipino American activist Melissa Roxas and her two companions, Juanito Carabeo and Edward Handoc, police authorities are currently investigating this. We encourage all those who may have information to cooperate with the police.
As allegations of abuse of human rights has been made, the Presidential Human Rights Committee (PHRC) has looked into this and its Secretariat released today the following update:
    “As a policy, we consider with serious doubts all allegations of human rights violations from groups like Karapatan, Bayan and their allied organizations, given their penchant for and track record in coming up with unfounded allegations, and for bringing such cases before the media and international organizations with nary an intent to officially refer such cases to government for proper action. 
    We recall the 836 alleged cases of unsolved killings (aka extra-judicial killings) Karapatan released to media in 2006 but which was eventually debunked to be an exaggeration, and the recent 1,016 alleged cases of torture it raised before the UN Committee Against Torture and which to this date remain unsubstantiated.
    Hence, on this recent allegation of abduction and enforced disappearances, the PHRC Secretariat immediately referred the matter to the Coalition Against Involuntary Disappearances (CAID), a more credible alliance of NGOs involved in cases of disappeared persons, to verify if indeed such a case did exist.
    Initial information from the Families of Involuntary Disappearances (FIND) and the Asian Federation Against Disappearances (AFAD), both active member-organizations of the CAID, based on their on-going investigations, revealed the following:
    •  There are no reports of this case in the local government office or with local police authorities of the Municipality of La Paz, Tarlac, where the abduction allegedly took place, filed by anyone, let alone Bayan and Karapatan.  This is surprising considering that both organizations would know that the standard operating procedure is for such cases to be immediately filed by the interested party/ies.
    •  Roxas has already surfaced, while Carabeo and Handoc are allegedly still missing.  On the other hand, Roxas, and for that matter Bayan and Karapatan, have yet to come out with a statement as to the actual circumstances of the alleged abduction.
    •  There is strong possibility that Roxas and company were on an “immersion” in NPA-infested areas.  And that the NPAs could have hidden them for safety purposes, perhaps after receiving reports of a possible encounter or attack by government forces.  At some point, organizations like Bayan and Karapatan wanted to take advantage of the situation by letting loose a press statement that an abduction took place, in anticipation of the possibility that Roxas and company would be killed in the crossfire.  Fortunately, no such incident occurred. 
    •  Another scenario being contemplated on is that Roxas was released by the NPAs precisely because her “immersion” was over, and that her two companions, being actually active members of the movement, have opted to stay on with their colleagues.
    •  Despite due diligence by FIND and AFAD, there are no leads that direct to an incident of abduction.
    Simply put, there is high probability that the alleged abduction of these persons has been fabricated.
    Karapatan and Bayan have been very silent lately.  There is apprehension, even among other NGOs and CSOs, that both are busy fabricating another story to explain the sudden surfacing of Roxas and the continued “disappearance” of the other two, all at the expense of the Philippine government.
    As of this writing, law enforcement authorities contacted by the PHRC Secretariat have denied ever receiving reports or having been informed of any abduction.
    The PHRC Secretariat shall be posting developments on this case.” ▪
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Here is the actual police report that they did not bother to check because they relied on other NGO’s to do their work for them. What this shows is that the Arroyo government doesn’t plan to do anything about the case.
Here is the link to the Philippine embassy in Washington and their statement on the abduction. Their email is info@philippineembassy-usa.org and their fax is at 202-4679417.
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