2 envi activists missing

Jonila Castro (left) and Jhed Tamano (right)


MANILA – Two environment activists were reported missing by the anti-reclamation network AKAP Ka Manila Bay on Sept. 2.

The missing activists are Jonila Castro, 21, a community organizer from AKAP Ka Manila Bay, and Jhed Tamano, 22, a coordinator of the Ecumenical Bishops Forum for their Community and Church Program in Manila Bay.

According to reports, the two were abducted in front of the Orion Water District office in Lati village, Orion, Bataan by four individuals in a grey vehicle at around 7:00 p.m.

They left behind their slippers and sandals, said Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan.

“Prior to the incident, Castro and Tamano were preparing for the relief operations and consultation in the communities of Bataan. However, they are already experiencing intimidation and harassment,” said AKAP KA Manila Bay in a post.

The missing environment defenders were conducting a research on the massive flooding in the area and the impact of the Manila Bay reclamation to their livelihoods. Both are graduates of Bulacan State University with degrees in psychology and business economics, respectively.

“Castro and Tamano continue to fight against the destructive projects looming on Manila Bay due to their impact on the environment and livelihood. Instead of support, they only reap fear and violence,” said AKAP Ka Manila Bay.

AKAP Ka Manila Bay, together with environment group Kalikasan, and rights group Karapatan released their alert advisories on social media, calling to surface Castro and Tamano.

The two are the 12th and 13th victims of enforced disappearance, following the case of Cedrick Casano.

This alarming number has already reached half of the Duterte administration’s record of 20 enforced desaparecidos, days after the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances. (JJE) (https://www.bulatlat.org)

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