“We are demanding the urgent action and cooperation of state forces in our collective efforts to identify the whereabouts of Dyan and Armand. We assert that there is nothing wrong with their work and the advocacies they carry with them, and that citizens who decisively tread the path that they have should not be harassed, threatened, silenced, or arrested.”
By ANINAW PRODUCTIONS
Human rights group Karapatan-Central Visayas reported that two activists are missing.
Dyan Gumanao, 28, coordinator of Alliance of Concerned Teachers-Region 7 and Armand Dayoha, 27, Alliance of Health Workers-Cebu coordinator were expected to arrive in their offices on Jan. 10 after spending the holidays with their families but have not been able to show up or contact family and colleagues since then.
According to Karapatan-Central Visayas, Gumanao and Dayoha had previously reported a series of harassment and tailing, which had increased following Gumanao’s arrest on June 5, 2020 as part of the Cebu 8.
Both Gumanao and Dayoha had also been tailed by suspected state agents after a Mendiola Massacre commemoration protest on January 22, 2021.
“These irregularities that they have observed have been considered to be possible monitoring of the two of them as active development workers and long-time human rights advocates in Cebu,” Karapatan-Central Visayas wrote in their statement.
The group added that Gumano had also experienced numerous instances of tailing by suspected state forces in the last quarter of 2022.
Gumanao had previously served as the head coordinator of Aninaw Productions and had been a key figure in its revival in 2017. Prior to that, she had been the chairperson of the UP Cebu University Student Council of the University of the Philippines Cebu (UP Cebu) and served as the Vice President for Visayas of the National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP).
After graduating cum laude with a Mass Communication degree from the university, Gumanao joined the non-government organization Community Empowerment Resource Network (CERNET) as a Special Support Services Coordinator.
She currently serves as a volunteer coordinator for the Alliance of Concerned Teachers-Region 7 after having been a volunteer for several years.
Dayoha, meanwhile, graduated from the Psychology program of UP Cebu and has served as a National Service Training Program (NSTP) lecturer in the university since 2015. He has also been pursuing a bachelor in Fine Arts as a second degree.
Having been active in the pursuit of “art for the people,” he was one of the founding members of the Cebu-based cultural group Art and Tankard Organization (ATO).
During the height of the pandemic in 2020, Dayoha was cited to be one of the key volunteers in addressing the issues of the workers and the urban poor in Mandaue City. He eventually became a staff member of the non-government organization Visayas Human Development Agency, Inc. (VIHDA, Inc.).
Dayoha currently serves as the coordinator of the Alliance of Health Workers-Cebu.
Karapatan-Central Visayas said that the incident has been reported to authorities and concerned government agencies.
“We are demanding the urgent action and cooperation of state forces in our collective efforts to identify the whereabouts of Dyan and Armand. We assert that there is nothing wrong with their work and the advocacies they carry with them, and that citizens who decisively tread the path that they have should not be harassed, threatened, silenced, or arrested,” the organization wrote.