dayafter450x537.jpgAn urban poor activist abducted by suspected military agents escaped after 29 hours of detention inside a van.

Melvin Yares, 27, chairperson of Kahugpungan sa Kabus sa Basak (KAKABAS), Lapu-Lapu City, confided to the human rights alliance KARAPATAN his fears ” that the military might get back to him and finish him off “for refusing to act as a military spy” and then escaping.

“They said I should cooperate if wanted to live. They want me to pose as an NPA surrenderee to be presented in a presscon to attack KADAMAY, ANAKPAWIS and other legitimate people’s organizations,” Yares told KARAPATAN Sunday afternoon.

Yares was abducted at the junction of Lincoln and Plaridel Sts., in Carbon Public Market at about 9:30PM, Friday (Jan.4, 2008) by seven suspected agents of the AFP-ISAFP. He was forced inside a dirty-white L300 van, where he was blindfolded, detained and interrogated on his alleged links with the NPAs without any legal basis.

At about 2AM, Sunday (Jan.6, 2008), he took the opportunity to escape when he was brought out of the van and tortured in a dark clearing in Sitio Timpolok, Brgy. Gun-ob, Lapu-Lapu City. He dashed towards a passing vehicle and then jumped on the other side of the road.

Dennis Abarrientos, secretary-general of KARAPATAN-Central Visayas, said they are assisting Yares prepare a complaint against the military abductors and in securing all available redress both here and abroad within and without the existing judicial system.

“It is sad that as we are about to commemorate the annual homage to the Sto. Niño, agents of the state continue to blaspheme the sacredness of human life and dignity with warrantless arrests and abductions. As Christians, we can not allow this sacrilege to continue with impunity. We demand for accountability from local government and military officials,…or God have mercy on their souls!” Abarrientos said.###


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