Press Release -- 24 March 2008
Mary Guy Portajada, National Coordinator (09058234907/4342837)
is latest victim of enforced disappearance under GMA regime in Maundy
nation paused to commemorate and reflect on the Passion of Christ this
Lenten season, three people were forcibly taken by unidentified men in
Bacoor, Cavite on March 20, 2008, Maundy Thursday.
were Jimmy Soleded, Clarita Luego-Soledad and Vilma Madrazo, Clarita’s
cousin. Madrazo was released by their captors. It has been four days
since the incident and there is still no word on the whereabouts of the
to Mary Guy Portajada, spokesperson of Desaparecidos, Jimmy and
Clarita are the 181st and 182nd victims of enforced
disappearances under the Arroyo regime.
She said it
is so ironic that inhuman acts such as abduction and political killings
happen under a prayerful and religious president and even during the
season of Lent.
Madrazo said she met with her cousin Clarita and her husbad Jimmy in front
of the 7-11 store along Daang Hari in Molino 3, Bacoor, Cavite at around
4:00 pm of Maundy Thursday. They were on their way to board a tricycle
when at least 10 unidentified men approached them and handcuffed their
wrists behind their backs.
said that the perpetrators forced the victims inside a silver
Adventure-type van, a white car, and another brown vehicle.
to Madrazo, she was blindfolded while they traveled for about two hours
before reaching their destination. She asked about Clarita and Jimmy but
was warned not to ask questions. She recalls hearing the men talking in
Waray and Tagalog and that she heard papers being shuffled. She said one
of the men said that they have to set her free as she was not on their
list. She was again handcuffed and blindfolded and, after another hour of
for Jimmy and Clarita as she was leaving the vehicle but instead of
getting a straightforward answer they just threatened her and said, “Huwag
ka na makikialam at magtatanong kung ayaw mong ibalik kita roon!” (Do
not meddle or ask questions if you don’t want me to take you back there!)
It was by that time already 9:00 in the evening.
Desaparecidos said that authorities should immediately surface the couple,
who are both being alleged as rebel leaders, and respect their right to
life as well as their right to due process.###
UA Date: 24 March 2008
UA Title: Couple Abducted and Illegally Detained in Camp Vicente Lim,
UA Case: Abduction, Illegal Arrest and Detention
Jaime "jimmy" Soledad
Male, 58 y/o
Female, 50 y/o, Married to Jimmy Soledad
Female, 37 y/o, Cousin of Clarita Luego
Place of Incident:
In front of 7-11 branch along
Daang Hari in Molino 3, Bacoor, Cavite, across the gates of Camella Homes
Springville City (North)
Date of Incident: 20 March 2008, around 4:00pm
Possible Motive: Accused as a top-ranking member of CPP-NPA in
Alleged Perpetrators: Not less than 10 unidentified men in civilian
clothes, believed to be elements of the Philippine National Police (PNP)
Account of Incident :
On March 20, 2008, Thursday, at around 4:00 p.m., Vilma Madrazo met with
Jimmy and Clarita Soledad in front of the 7-11 branch accross the gates of
Camella Homes Springville City (North) at Molino 3, Cavite. The Soledads
came to Cavite upon the invitation of Madrazo to discuss about the small
store being sold by Clarita.
As they were about to leave to board a tricycle, more than 10 unidentified
men in civilian clothes approached them and bound the victims' wrists
behind their backs with handcuffs. One of the men said that they were
under arrest, but did not introduce himself nor show any identification.
The three victims were forced into separate vehicles.
According to witnesses inside the 7-11 store, which were mainly composed
of store clerks, the perpetrators forced the victims inside parked
vehicles which were: a silver van (Adventure type), a brown vehicle and a
couple of white cars that sped towards the direction of SM Molino. One of
the store clerks said that an MMDA traffic enforcer recognized the
perpetrators to be members of the Talaba Police.
Madrazo, who was released on the the evening of the same day, recounted
that she was blindfolded inside the car, her cellular phone taken from
her. They have been traveling for two hours when she requested for the use
of a bathroom. Madrazo was told by one of her captors that they were
nearing their destination. When they arrived, she said that she was guided
to a restroom where her handcuffs and blindfold were removed, and that she
was locked inside.
After a while, she was again blindfolded and handcuffed and guided into
another room. Madrazo felt that the place where she was taken was an air
conditioned office of some sort, and heard conversations of male voices
conversing in Waray and in Tagalog. She heard a male voice asking her
captors "Siya na ba?" (Is she the one?,) to which one of her captors
replied "Oo, siya na" (Yes, it's her). Madrazo was asked for her name and
address which she replied to. She heard shuffling of papers and then a man
spoke to her captors telling them to let her go for she is not in their
list. Madrazo asked about the Soledad couple and was told by her captors
not to ask too many questions.
Madrazo was again guided to embark another vehicle with her captors. She
said the vehicle was apparently a different one from the first. In her
calculation, they had traveled for almost two hours. When they stopped,
she was told to alight from the car, her handcuffs and blindfold were
removed. She recognized the place as Alabang, near the Metropolis Mall.
She asked about her cousin Clarita and Jimmy, and she was told by one of
the men, "Huwag ka na makikialam at magtatanong kung ayaw mong ibalik kita
roon!" (Do not meddle or ask questions if you don't want me to take you
back there!), and then the perpetrators sped off. This was around 9:00 pm
of the same day
Madrazo went back home to Cavite and informed Clarita's siblings of the
On 22 March 2008, Saturday, Clarita's sister, Robisita Abenoja accompanied
by Karapatan conducted an ocular inspection of the place of incident and
inquired with the local law enforcement agencies in Cavite. As of that
time, there were no reports of the abduction or arrest, nor was there a
report on requests for coordination with other law enforcement agencies
filed at the Molino 3 Baranggay, and at the Molino and Talaba PNP
detachments in relation to the incident.
On 23 March, Sunday, a Quick Reaction Team (QRT) from Karapatan headed by
Atty. Ephraim Cortez accompanied the relatives to Camp Vicente Lim,
Philippine National Police Region IV Headquarters in Canlubang, Laguna to
check if the couple was in their custody. However, a staff from the
Intelligence Division denied custody of the two.
On the same day, People's Journal (an English language tabloid) reported
the arrest of Jaime Soledad. He and Clarita were reported to be detained
at the headquarters of the 2nd Infantry Division of the Armed Forces of
the Philippines. The military claims that Jaime Soledad is one of the
highest ranking leaders of the CPP-NPA in Eastern Visayas.
The QRT went back to Camp Vicente Lim on 24 March 2008 to determine the
couple's whereabouts and it was only then that camp officials finally
confirmed that the couple is in their custody, and is currently in
Download fact sheet
March 24, 2008
Reference: Katrina Abarcar, National Coordinator, GMA Watch, firstname.lastname@example.org
Daz Lamparas, Executive Board Member, APALA, email@example.com
US Labor Alliance Condemns Killings and Disappearances in the
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance(APALA) Endorses GMA (Gloria
After hearing the moving story of Edith Burgos, the mother of abducted
land reform and farmers' advocate Jonas Burgos, the National Executive
Board of the Asian-Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) unanimously
voted to endorse GMA Watch, a US based Philippine human rights monitoring
network. Mrs. Burgos spoke to APALA as part of a seven city US speaking
tour organized by GMA Watch, which raised awareness about the 890
politically motivated extrajudicial killings and more than 300
disappearances which have been committed presumably by the Philippine
military under the presidency of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
"We condemn the government of
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for the abductions, disapearances and
killings of activists, opposition journalists and union leaders and labor
organizers in the Philippines. Americans should unite with the Filipino
people in saying, 'stop human rights violations' and 'end corruption in
the Philippines,'" said Daz Lamparas, Executive Board Member of APALA and
member of the San Francisco Chapter.
Just days after APALA passed their resolution to endorse GMA Watch, Gerry
Cristobal, a union leader in the Philippines, was killed. It was the third
attempt on his life. In the same week the US State Department released
their country report on the Philippines and expressed concern over the
continued killings and other human rights violations in which Philippine
security forces are implicated.
"This endorsement comes at an important time. Congress is starting the
process of creating next year's funding bill. APALA's membership and reach
represents thousands more that can demand that our tax dollars not go to
shed innocent blood in the Philippines," said Katrina Abarcar, national
coordinator of GMA Watch.
APALA has around 5000 members. In its resolution, APALA stated it would
urge its chapters as well as the AFL-CIO and CTW (Change to Win), which
together represent over 15 million workers, to pass similar resolutions to
endorse and support GMA Watch. ###
26 March 2008 (Update from KARAPATAN)
In our 24 March 2008 Urgent Action Alert, we wrote about the abduction
of Jaime Soledad, his wife Clarita Luego and her cousin Vilma Madrazo on
March 20, 2008 (Thursday). Madrazo was released in the evening of the
same day but the two remained missing until 24 March when the officials
of Camp Vicente Lim in Laguna were finally forced to show them to their
find below the latest update on the case
couple was flown to Leyte in Eastern Visayas on 25 March 2008 and was
finally presented to the court in Hilongos, Leyte before Judge Ephrem
Obando of the Regional Trial Court Branch 18. Obando was the same judge
who on March 16, 2007 issued the warrant of arrest for suspects of the
alleged 'mass graves' in Innopacan town. Jaime said he only learned that
he was included in the warrant of arrest after his abduction and
was released on the same day because she was not the subject of the
warrant of arrest and there are no charges filed against her. Jimmy was
transferred to the Palo Provincial Jail.
multiple murder charge for which Jaime is co-accused with many other
individuals, mostly Leftist leaders (who were in tight-security military
prison at the time the alleged massacre took place), is under question. A
petition for certiorari and prohibition and for temporary restraining
orders is pending at the Supreme Court.
received information that in 2001, Jaime was among the co-accused in a
similar case of 'mass graves' in Baybay, Leyte but the case was dismissed
in 2004. The bones that were presented by the military as evidence in the
"multiple murder case" in Baybay were allegedly the same bones presented
in the Innopacan "multiple murder case."