2 ‘abducted’ activists turn to CHR 7 for help; CCPO welcomes move

TWO members of cause-oriented groups who were allegedly abducted earlier this month have gone to the Commission on Human Rights Central Visayas (CHR 7) instead of going to the police.

Armand Dayoha and his fiancée Dyan Gumanao turned to the CHR 7 to file a formal complaint regarding what happened to them after they disembarked from a ship at Pier 6 in the morning of January 10, 2023.

According to them, men who introduced themselves as police officers forced them into a vehicle and brought them to Carmen town in northern Cebu. However, they were released on January 15 and were back at home the day after.

The Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) welcomed their move.

Lieutenant Colonel Maria Theresa Macatangay, CCPO information officer, pointed out that the commission’s function is to investigate all forms of human rights violations that involve civil and political rights.

If the CHR 7 finds that there is basis for abuse, then it is its mandate to launch an investigation, she said.

“We cannot speak against their mandate,” she added.

The National Government also ordered the National Bureau of Investigation Central Visayas to investigate the case for its immediate resolution.

Macatangay said she was happy about this because it would make it easier to check the couple’s claim that they were abducted even though the incident was caught on video and there were many witnesses.

“Everybody is welcome to join the investigation because at the end of the day, what we want to know as well is the truth. To the victims, it doesn’t matter if they turn to the NBI since it is also a government agency,” she said in a mix of English and Cebuano.

The Police Regional Office Central Visayas has created a special investigation task group (SITG) to conduct a deeper probe on the incident.

Members of the SITG are securing footages from closed-circuit television cameras in Pier 6 as well getting the statements of port employees who witnessed the abduction. (AYB/PJB)