IP rights defender, companion go missing

IP rights defender, companion go missing
This photo shows indigenous peoples rights defender Gene Roz Jamil De Jesus.
Facebook / Anakbayan UC

MANILA, Philippines — Family and friends of indigenous peoples rights defender Gene Roz Jamil De Jesus and Bontoc-Ibaloi-Kankanaey Dexter Capuyan are calling on the public to reach out if they have information on their whereabouts. 

Both De Jesus and Capuyan have been missing since April 28, Cordillera Human Rights Alliance reported Wednesday. 

De Jesus is an information and networking officer with the Philippine Task Force on Defending the Rights of Indigenous People. Meanwhile, Capuyan is based in La Trinidad, Benguet and traveled to Rizal for medical treatment.

“[Gene] was last seen in Taytay, Rizal with a companion, and the last communication with him was cut off at 7:56 p.m.,” the Centeno-De Jesus family said in a statement.

They were last contacted on April 28, 9 p.m. 

Capuyan has been accused of being a “communist terrorist group personality” — the government term for the Communist Party of the Philippines, New People's Army and National Democratic Front. Human rights groups have been long protested red-tagging which has resulted in harassment, threats or, in worse cases, death of subjects.

Due to this, the CHRA said they fear that Capuyan and De Jesus are in government custody. They then issued a call for their release.

Philstar.com has reached out to the police and military on the incident.

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