Baguio City Council Condemns Activist’s Disappearance

The Baguio City Council on Sept. 29 approved a resolution “condemning the involuntary disappearance of Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) member James Balao.”

BY AILEEN P. REFUERZO
PIO-Baguio City (via Northern Dispatch)
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
Posted by Bulatlat

BAGUIO CITY (246 kms north of Manila) – The Baguio City Council on Sept. 29 approved a resolution “condemning the involuntary disappearance of Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) member James Balao.”

A resolution authored by Councilors Rocky Thomas Balisong, Betty Lourdes Tabanda, Galo Weygan, Perlita Rondez, Nicasio Aliping Jr., Antonio Tabora Jr., Erdolfo Balajadia, Isabelo Cosalan Jr., Nicasio Palaganas, Richard Carino, Fred Bagbagen, Elaine Sembrano, Joel Alangsab and Gloria Ysabel De Vera stated that Balao’s disappearance is “a result of the continuing political persecution of activists and civilians critical of the government.”

“This involuntary disappearance is alarming, curtailing and threatening democratic rights in the Philippines,” the resolution noted.

Balao, an active CPA member contributing his research and education skills to advocacy of people’s issues, was last seen Sept. 17 somewhere between his residence at Fairview barangay here and La Trinidad, Benguet.

Before his disappearance, he reported to his colleagues his observation that he is under surveillance by unidentified entities since April this year. Balao reported noticing white and blue vans tailing him from his residence to his daily appointments.

The resolution also seeks to give assistance to Balao’s family, the CPA and the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance (CHRA) for the immediate location of Balao and his release from his captors.

Copies of the City Council resolution would be furnished to the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), Department of National Defense (DND), Philippine National Police (PNP), Department of Justice (DOJ), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Commission on Human Rights (CHR), National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and Joint Monitoring Committee on CARHRHIL. PIO-Baguio City (via Northern Dispatch) / Posted by Bulatlat.com

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