ALERT UPDATE as of November 27, 2018
On the abduction of four RMP-NMR LitNum volunteer teachers
Melissa Comiso, the Literacy Numeracy Program Coordinator of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines – Northern Mindanao Sub-Region joined by a volunteer teacher, a family member of one of the missing teachers, and staff of the Social Action Center of the Archdiocese of Iligan City went to 51st IB PA Camp of Suarez, Iligan City earlier today. They inquired if the teachers they were searching for are in the custody of the unit. The soldier advised the group to search elsewhere because the area where the teachers were reported to have been arrested is not in the jurisdiction of the unit.
With the help of the Social Action Center of the Archdiocese of Iligan City, they were able to get in contact with Corporal Rico Ordaneza of the 103rd Infantry Brigade who ket up with the group at the Lanao del Sur Capitol.
Corporal Rico Ordaneza confirmed that the four volunteer teachers are in the unit’s custody. Comiso’s group insisted that they take the teachers home as they did not do anything wrong. Ordaneza said the teachers are still under investigation and cannot be released. Comiso’s group asked to at least see and talk to them, they were also prohibited. Adding that they are being investigated because they were with Sultan Jamla who has a warrant of arrest for different cases.
Corporal Ordaneza said “Kung may kasalanan ang isa, at apat tayong nandito, damay tayong tatlo (If one person is being investigated and there are four of us here, then all of us are implicated). The Corporal continued by saying “Kain, tulog at imbestigasyon lang ang ginagawa nila dito, huwag kayong mag-alala” (Don’t worry because all they do here is eat, sleep, and undergo investigation). “Iba ang Martial Law ngayon kumpara dati, ang mga sundalo ngayon ay mababait” (Martial Law is different now, compared to the past Martial Law. Soldiers are now good)” as he closed his statement.
It is important to note that the teachers were reported missing since the 12th of November. They have been in the custody of the 103rd Brigade for 15 days– more than the prescribed number of days allowed by law that police/military personnel can detain suspected persons or persons of interests without cases filed before them.
In the absence of cases filed before the teachers, the 103rd Brigade are holding the teachers illegally.
Source: Rural Missionaries of the Philippines – Northern Mindanao Region
Date: November 27, 2018