Orion 2 are victims of abduction, and 13-day secret detention and torture

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) joins the Filipino people in condemning the Marcos regime for the abduction last September 2, and the 13-day secret detention and torture of Jonila Castro and Jhed Tamano carried out by its military and police agents, and which is now being elaborately covered-up by the National Task Force (NTF)-Elcac.

For 13 days, Castro and Tamano were held in a military “safehouse” without being charged, while the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) denied custody of them. Without doubt, the young women were subjected to various forms of psychological and emotional torture to force them to “cooperate” with the wishes of their abductors.

To be clear, Castro and Tamano are not members of the New People’s Army. According to their colleagues, Castro is a volunteer for AKAP KA Manila Bay, a group against land reclamation projects in Manila Bay, while Tamano volunteers for “Turn the Tide Now,” a church program for fisherfolk.

The abduction and torture of Castro and Tamano is clearly part of the reign of state terror and political repression under the Marcos regime through its minions in the NTF-Elcac. The NTF-Elcac targets organizations and individuals which are critical of foreign subservience, corruption and anti-people policies and programs of the US-Marcos regime, and which defend the rights and interests of workers, peasants, fisherfolk and other democratic sectors.

To justify its campaign of subjecting these organizations to surveillance and armed suppression, the NTF-Elcac employs the old Marcosian tactic of incriminating these organizations as part of the armed resistance against the ruling state.

The abduction of Castro and Tamano and 13-day torture while in secret custody show a rising trend of abductions of volunteers and social activists to force them to “surrender” and “cooperate” with the NTF-Elcac, under pain of being subjected to prolonged torture, detention and death. Just a few days after Marcos assumed office, Elgene Mungcal of Gabriela Women’s Partylist and Ma. Elena ‘Cha’ Cortez Pampoza of Anakpawis were abducted on July 3. They remain missing to this day. Earlier, workers organizers Elizabeth ‘Loi’ Magbanua and Alipio ‘Ador’ Juat were abducted on May 3, 2022 in Valenzuela, Bulacan.

Earlier this year, military and police agents in Cebu abducted Dyan Gumanao and Armand Dayoha (who were later released amid intense public pressure), Michael Cedrick Casano and Patricia Nicole Cierva (who “surrendered” 10 days after they were abducted in Cagayan province, secretly detained and tortured), and Gene “Bazoo” De Jesus and Dexter Capuyan (who were abducted by agents of the PNP-CIDG in Taytay, Rizal last May, but remain missing to this day).

The Party joins the Filipino people in raising their voices to demand a stop to the Marcos regime’s campaign of state terrorism. Marcos and his minions responsible for human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law must be held liable and punished for their crimes.

Orion 2 are victims of abduction, and 13-day secret detention and torture