Activists who denied military claim of their 'surrender' now in CHR custody

Jeck Batallones, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 19 2023 09:19 PM

Environmental activists Jonila Castro and Jhed Tamano arrive at the Commission on Human Rights headquarters in Quezon City on September 19, 2023. Maria Tan, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Environmental activists Jhed Tamano and Jonila Castro arrived at the office of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) after their controversial press conference in Plaridel, Bulacan.

 The two arrived at the CHR at around 6 p.m. Tuesday.

In an unexpected twist during the press conference of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), Castro and Tamano said they were actually abducted by soldiers and forced to sign affidavits under duress that they surrendered to the military.

Progressive groups converged outside the CHR office to stage a rally in a show of support for Castro and Tamano.

The two activists had a closed-door meeting with CHR officials. At around 7 p.m., Castro and Tamano went down to face their supporters to thank them.

“Nagpapasalamat ako sa mga naghanap sa amin. Sa totoo lang, hindi namin alam na hinahanap nyo kami, pero nanalig kami dun, alam namin na sa halos tatlong linggo, hindi namin alam nangyayari sa labas, alam namin na meron kami mga kasama sa labas na ipaglalaban ang totoo nangyari,” Castro said.

“Hindi namin magagawa ito ng mag-isa lang po. Kami panawagan din po namin kasama din po ninyo hindi lang naman po kami yung nawawala kaya panawagan din namin ay ilitaw din ang ibang enforced disappearances,” Tamano added.

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Castro and Tamano refused to divulge what their next moves will be, citing their need to rest. The two will temporarily stay under the custody of the CHR.


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