Media Release
13 May 2023

Supporting the campaign for the immediate surfacing of two Cordillera activists who went missing on April 28 in Tanay, Rizal, Migrante-International called on the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to exhaust all means at its disposal to help attain the call.

In a May 10 letter to CHR chairperson Leah Tanodra-Armamento, Migrante-International chairperson Joanna Concepcion said that Cordillera activists Bazoo de Jesus and Dexter Capuyan are presumed to be in the custody of the military and should be surfaced and freed immediately. 

“There has been a spate of abductions of activists under the Bongbong Marcos regime. The CHR and all government agencies concerned with human rights and democracy should take immediate action until those who have been disappeared are surfaced,” Concepcion said. 

Migrante-International said that Bazoo, a former student leader at the University of the Philippines-Baguio, is the son of an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) couple working in Italy who are its active members.

“The government has always assured OFWs and migrant Filipinos that it will protect their children. Instead, we have here another case where state agents are violating the basic rights to life and liberty of OFW children because of their activism,” Concepcion added. 

Migrante-International said the abduction of De Jesus, Capuyan and other activists are clear violations of their right to life and liberty, their right to freedom of expression and association, and their right to redress of grievances. 

“Bazoo and Dexter are activists serving our indigenous brothers and sisters, who face enormous challenges, from being denied government services to facing eviction from their ancestral lands. They are definitely not terrorists and they have human rights,” stated Concepcion.

Concepcion said that time is of the essence with regard to surfacing the two activists, as delays are dimming hopes that Bazoo and Dexter will be surfaced alive and be able to reunite with their families, loved ones and comrades in activism. 

“We condemn the enforced disappearance of activists, which is a human rights violation according to international conventions. It is deplorable that the government is resorting to measures such as this in responding to dissent, instead of addressing the root causes of dissent in poverty, landlessness and unemployment,” Concepcion said.###