Wife seeks CA’s help in finding abducted activist Steve Abua

Johanna Abua says government forces are behind the disappearance of her husband Steve Abua. (Photo by Carlo Manalansan/Bulatlat)

Exactly a month after her husband was abducted, Johanna Abua asked the Court of Appeals to demand army officials to produce the body of Steve Abua who went missing on November 6, 2021. He was last seen in the village of Sta. Cruz which is part of the central business district of the municipality of Lubao in the province of Pampanga, some 90 kilometers from Manila.


MANILA — In a 12-page petition filed before the Court of Appeals, call center agent Johanna Abua, wife of peasant organizer Steve Abua, disclosed in detail how agents of the Philippine Air Force, the Philippine National Police, and the Philippine Army may be responsible for the disappearance of her husband.

The petition revealed that Steve experienced surveillance weeks before his abduction.

“Unidentified persons went around his community, showing residents a photograph of him and asking for his whereabouts. He also received texts and calls from persons seeking help regarding their land issues, but the latter stopped communicating once they confirmed it was Steve who responded to their messages, as if they just wanted to confirm his identity and contact information,” Johanna said in her petition.

Johanna added that she received several SMS from persons identifying themselves as Steve’s abductors, saying her husband is a long-time activist and has accountabilities to the government. The petitioner added that her husband was falsely accused of being a member of the New People’s Army. Steve’s abductors, the petition stated, even persuaded the petitioner to convince Steve to return to the fold of the law and just cooperate with the government in achieving social change.

With these information, petitioner has no doubts that only armed state agents, in the course of implementing their counterinsurgency program, were the ones responsible for the disappearance of her husband who was alleged as a member of the underground movement.

Steve’s abduction came in the heels of repeated red-tagging and vilification as ‘communist terrorists’ of peasant and activist leaders in Central Luzon, including those identified with the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas and its regional counterpart, Alyansa ng Magbubukid ng Pilipinas sa Gitnang Luzon to which Steve was a member. In fact, the petition stated that on June 9, 2021, members of AMGL ‘were gathered at Hermosa, Bataan supposedly for a meeting and relief operations. But they were later falsely presented as NPA surrenderees by the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.’

The petition also stated that Johanna, together with the human rights organization, Karapatan, and investigators from the regional office of the Commission on Human Rights, visited military and police camps, detention facilities, and hospitals around Central Luzon on November 22 and 23 to inquire about Steve’s whereabouts but were not allowed to inspect all the facilities inside the premises.

Johanna hopes that the Court of Appeals will address the illegal confinement or detention of Steve, “who remains deprived of liberty to this day, amid the continuing cover up and refusal to exercise the requisite diligence by the police and the military under the control, supervision and direction’ of the respondents from the government’s armed forces, in determining Steve’s whereabouts and in admitting having him in custody.” (RVO) (https://www.bulatlat.com)

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