Danah Marie Marcellana, 20, a peasant organizer and martyr’s daughter was abducted by soldiers along with three others on March 7.
By DEE AYROSO
MANILA – Peasant and human rights groups are calling on government forces to surface four civilians who have gone missing since March 7, after being forcibly taken by soldiers who clashed with New People’s Army (NPA) in Quezon province.
Missing are: Danah Marie Marcellana, 20, organizer of the peasant group Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (Kasama-TK), farmers Cristopher Redota,26, Jose “Teteng” Yuzon and his daughter Jennifer, 22.
Danah and the others were reportedly wounded while at the Yuzon residence in Camflora village, San Andres, Quezon where soldiers of the 85th infantry battalion clashed with NPA members. Four NPAs were killed in the encounter.
The AFP is yet to acknowledge having the four civilians in their custody. They remain missing as of this writing.
Danah comes from a family of activists who have repeatedly experienced state repression. In 2003, she was only six years old when her mother, Karapatan-Southern Tagalog secretary general Eden Marcellana, was abducted and killed, along with peasant leader Eddie Gumanoy, by a military death squad under then Col. Jovito Palparan Jr. Her father is Kasama-TK secretary general Orly Marcellana, who had been subjected to harassment and charged with numerous trumped-up cases. Her sister Ara, a coordinator of the fisherfolk group Pamalakaya was recently hounded by police in Quezon.
“Pinatay n’yo na ang aking kabiyak, kapatid, pinsan at tiyuhin. Pati ba naman anak ko, itatago n’yo pa sa akin, kaylan kayo titigil sa inyong mga pandarahas at panunupil? (You have killed my wife, brother, cousins and uncle. And now you hide my daughter from me? When will you stop your violence and repression?)” Orly said in a Facebook post.
Orly said he and Southern Tagalog progressives have searched for the four in vain.
On March 8, at 2 a.m., Orly said he and five others went to the Armed Forces of the Philippines Southern Luzon Command (Solcom) in Camp Guillermo Nakar, Lucena city to look for the four but were told to return at 8 a.m. They returned in the afternoon, but were again not allowed inside nor accommodated by any military official.
Meanwhile, progressive groups held indignation rallies to protest the abduction. On March 9, Kasama-TK and other activists held a silent protest at the Solcom headquarters in Lucena City. On March 10, in Quezon City, activists picketed the gates of the AFP Medical Center-V.Luna, where soldiers reportedly brought Danah and the three victims who were wounded.
“Danah, magpakatatag ka, kung saan kaman dinala at itinatago ng mga militar, tibayan mo ang loob. Nandito kami ni bunso, mga kasamahan natin at patuloy ka naming hahanapin sampu ng ating mga kauring mga magsasaka na nawawalang kagaya mo (Danah, be strong, wherever the military is hiding you. Have strength, your sister and I and our colleagues are all here for you, and we will keep searching for you, in the name of other peasants who are missing like you),” Orly called out to his daughter in his post.
Update: On March 13, Karapatan reported that Danah “has been located and is safe with her family.” The three other victims, however, are yet to be surfaced and are suspected to be arbitrarily detained by the Solcom.