The National Democratic Front Far Southern Mindanao condemns the involuntary disappearance of NDF consultant Lora T. Manipis and husband Jeruel B. Domingo who 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.
At the time of their disappearance, they were arranging for activities related to the peace process. They were also actively holding dialogs with indigenous people and peasants who have been affected by the large-scale mining operations of X-trata Mining in Tampakan, South Cotabato.
Comrade Lora is a consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Far Southern Mindanao. Comrade Lora or Ka Al was organized as a student activist before she joined the New People’s Army. She has spent more than a decade serving the masses of Far Southern Mindanao as an organizer and a revolutionary leader who helped achieve the rapid expansion in the region’s mass base and wage successful mass struggles.
Comrade Jeruel or Ka Jamjam 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.
Several months ago, intelligence agents had interrogated Ka Al’s daughter while she was in school. The house of Ka Al’s family was also subjected to intense surveillance for the past two years.
The revolutionary movement vigorously condemns the forced disappearance of Ka Al and Ka Jamjam, the fascist act which was most likely to be perpetrated by the armed agents of the US-Duterte regime.
The regime’s ruthlessness towards Ka Al and Ka Jamjam is an outright violation of signed agreements with the NDFP, particularly the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law that are supposed to protect their rights and ensure their safety even when peace negotiations are suspended.
We condemn the couple’s forced disappearance, the unbridled violation of their rights and the reactionary government and military’s refusal to surface them. Fascist violence is pervasive under the US-Duterte regime where the state’s ruthlessness is directed against those who have selflessly resisted the abuses and fought for human rights and social justice.
We hold GRP Pres. 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. Since the start of Duterte’s regime, there are already 6,227 victims of human rights atrocities in the Far South Region, comprising 20 victims of extrajudicial killings, 22 illegal arrest and detention, and 6,185 victims of displacement and evacuation (data from July 2016 to December 2017).
Manipis and Domingo join other NDFP consultants who were abducted by the enemy such as Leo Velasco, Rogelio Calubad, Prudencio Calubid, NDFP staff members Philip Limjoco, Leopoldo Ancheta, Federico Intise and his wife Nelly, the two latter also came from Far Southern Mindanao.
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.
The NDFP and the entire revolutionary movement demand the immediate surfacing of involuntarily disappeared consultant Manipis and husband Domingo. We urge human rights advocates to demand for the release and surfacing of the couple especially as NDFP Consultant Manipis performs vital role in the peace negotiations.