A consultant of peasant organizations in Cagayan Valley was abducted, reported missing and was found the next day at the Bureau of Jails Management and Penology (BJMP) in Tuguegarao City.
Myrna Cruz Abraham, 55, suffered the same fate as that of the 43 health workers dubbed the Morong 43 –arrested without a warrant, blindfolded, handcuffed and thrown like a pig inside the van of her captors.
On March 22, at around 6:30 p.m., Abraham had just alighted from a Gabriel Liner Bus in Pamplona, Cagayan when four men in white civilian clothes forced her into a white van, according to a press statement issued by Desaparecidos.
According to an urgent action alert from Karapatan, the men shouted that they were policemen to stop bystanders from helping Abraham.
She was brought to a military intelligence “safehouse” where she was repeatedly interrogated and forced to admit that she is a certain Nel Villanueva, one of the accused in the murder of a certain Johnny D. Belo in Amulong, Cagayan on October 23, 2002. Her interrogator introduced himself as “Raymond Wong” who said that, “we belong to the Philippine government.”
Abraham was transferred to the BJMP detention center in Tuguegarao City at around 5:30 pm, March 23.
Lorena “Aya” Santos, deputy secretary general of Desaparecidos, said they were able to contact Abraham at 8:30 yesterday morning.
Abraham’s belongings were also taken — three bags and identification cards, credit cards, ATM card, a USB disk and hard drive. Her captors also planted two grenades in her bags.
The grenades, Santos said, are being presented as evidence by the 17th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army against Abraham. She was accused of murder even if her name does not appear anywhere on the charge sheet. She was also charged for violating Comelec Resolution 8714, a ban on the use of firearms during election period.
Abraham is a long-time development consultant of the Danggayan Dagiti Mannalon ti Cagayan Valley (Danggayan), a regional peasant organization and a member of Anakpawis chapter in Cagayan Valley. She was a former teacher at Jose Rizal University and Colegio del Buen Consejo.
Early this year, Abraham had been active in the campaign of farmers against El Niño and the government’s shortsightedness in addressing the issue.
Abraham’s daughter Gem said she and her siblings were relieved to find their mother, but are still worried about her situation in jail. “We hope the courts will not justify these illegal acts and that the charges against my mother be immediately dismissed,” Gem said.
The Desaparecidos condemned the recent case of abduction and arrest of Abraham.
“We also decry the practice of the police and the military of arresting individuals without warrant, planting incriminating evidence and charging them with criminal offenses when their name is not even on the information sheet,” Santos said. (By Ronalyn V. Olea/Bulatlat.com)