AFP false claim of Ka Pon’s “surrender” covers up her abduction and secret detention

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) firmly denounces the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), specifically the 4th Infantry Division, for making false claims that Raquel Santillano (Ka Pon), surrendered to the military, in a vain attempt to conceal their crime of abducting and secretly detaining her.

Santillano was abducted by military agents in Bumbaran town, Lanao del Sur, last September 4 and was kept incommunicado for more than a week before the AFP acknowledged their custody of her.

In violation of her rights under international humanitarian law, Santillano is being kept against her will and denied legal representation by a lawyer of her choice. Her unjust and secret detention inside a military camp (not by juridical order) forms part of the AFP’s intense psychological pressure against her and her family.

We demand that the Philippine government to immediately declare Santillano as a prisoner of war, respect her rights guaranteed under the Geneva Conventions and other instruments of IHL, and facilitate her expeditious release, instead of making false claims of her “surrender” which only add to the violations of her rights.

AFP false claim of Ka Pon's "surrender" covers up her abduction and secret detention