Police: Men who ‘kidnapped’ 2 human rights defenders use motorcycle plate in car

THE Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) has already obtained the number plate of the vehicle used by a group of men who allegedly abducted two human rights defenders Armand Dayoha and his fiancée Dyan Gumanao in Cebu port.

But Lieutenant Colonel Albert Quilitorio, spokesperson of SITG tasked by the Police Regional Office-Central Visayas (PRO 7) to handle the investigation, said that the number plate is not of a car, but of a motorcycle, arising suspicion that the suspects stole it to place it on their car.

“Ang plate number nga nakabutang sa sakyanan sa motor. For sure, katong plate number peke gyud to. Mao nay usa pud nato i-under investigation nganong gigamit to,” Quilitorio said.

(The plate number placed on the car is a motorcycle plate. For sure, that plate number is fake. That's one of the things we will look into in our investigation, why it was used.)

Quilitorio already saw an improvement in the case after they obtained the statements of security guards at the port where Dayoha and Gumanao were reportedly picked up and forced into a car by persons who introduced themselves as policemen as they arrived from Cagayan de Oro City on January 10, 2023.

The police are hoping to get more statements from security personnel and other witnesses who were present in the CCTV footage that was uploaded in the social media.

Part of the tasks of SITG is to go to a resort in Carmen town, northern Cebu, where the couple was reportedly brought by the armed men and later abandoned on January 15, to check if there are CCTV cameras in the said establishment.

The task group will also try to interrogate the resort’s staff regarding the incident.

Quilitorio said he will suggest in their next case conference to invite Gumanao and Dayoha so they can get their statements that could help in their investigation.

The police denied that they did not try to reach out to the victims because according to Lieutenant Colonel Maria Theresa Macatangay, spokesperson of the Cebu City Police Office, they already went to the house of the victims in Sitio Nasipit, Barangay Talamban, Cebu City, but nobody was there.

Quilitorio said the parents of Dyan and Armand requested them to respect the privacy of the victims as they have not yet recovered from the traumatic event.

The SITG is also planning to expand their investigation to places visited by the couple in Mindanao to determine if there were people who chased them there.

Dayaho and Gumanao have already asked the Commission on Human Rights for help. (AYB, TPT)