July 22, 2024

The Cordillera Human Rights Alliance along with other groups have appealed for the surfacing of two activists, who they believe are being held by state forces after they went missing on April 28.

In a statement, the CHRA said they received the report from the families of Dexter Capuyan and Gene Roz Jamil de Jesus that the two were last contacted in Taytay, Rizal prior to their disappearance.

Capuyan, a Bontoc-Ibaloy-Kankana-ey from La Trinidad, Benguet, was in Rizal to seek medical attention, according to his family.

De Jesus, a resident of Bulacan, last communicated at 7:36 p.m. that day, according to his mother’s social media post. 

The two are former students of the University of the Philippines Baguio.

Napakahirap para sa aming pamilya ang bagay na ito. Ilang araw nang dala-dala namin ang matinding pag-aalala. Pinipilit na maging normal ang pagharap sa lahat ngunit sa likod ay puno ng paghihinagpis. Sana ay magkaroon na ng linaw ang paghahanap,” de Jesus’ mother, Ditz stated in her post.

CHRA said Capuyan is being accused as a leader of the New People’s Army Chadli Molintas Commandoperating in the Ilocos and Cordillera with a P1,850,000 bounty for his arrest.

He was also among the more than 600 individuals named in the Department of Justice petition to proscribe the Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA as a terrorist organization.

His name was removed when state prosecutors trimmed the number of respondents to eight. The court junked the petition in September last year. 

He was also implicated in the February 2015 NPA ambush against a military and police convoy in Quirino, Ilocos Sur, resulting in death of five soldiers and wounding of six others.

Capuyan was a BA Social Sciences student. He served as the editor-in-chief of the student publication Outcrop, and the League of Filipino Students chairperson in the early 1980s. 

De Jesus, a BA Communication Major in Journalism cum laude, was the chairperson of the Alliance of Concerned Students and the UP Baguio Council of Leaders before graduating in 2016.

He also served as the Cordillera regional coordinator of the National Union of Students of the Philippines. 

He is currently the information and networking officer of the Philippine Task Force for Indigenous Peoples.  For any information on their whereabouts, contact CHRA’s hotline 0918-919-9007. – Ofelia C. Empian