STATEMENT | Surface James Balao and all Desaparecidos!
The Panaghiusa Philippine Network to Uphold Indigenous Peoples' Rights reiterates its calls to surface all Desaparecidos and end state-sponsored disappearances and human rights violations in the Philippines.
On this day in 2008, James Balao, an indigenous leader, became a victim of enforced disappearance. State agents abducted him in La Trinidad, Benguet. More than a decade has passed, there is still no information on his whereabouts. Before the kidnapping, Balao told his family and colleagues that suspected state agents were surveilling him.
As one of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance pioneers and former editor-in-chief of the University of the Philippines Baguio Outcrop, Balao highlighted the struggles of Indigenous Peoples (IPs) in his works. He opposes the continuing plunder of natural resources in the Cordillera and calls for respect of the IP's right to self-determination and social services.
The Panaghiusa Philippine Network strongly urges the Filipino people to seek justice for all the victims of state-sponsored disappearances. Together, let us call to stop the attacks against those who stand with the people in calling for the defense of their fundamental rights granted by the Philippine Constitution and Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Surface James Balao, Maki Bail, Davis Mogul, Res Hangadon Sr., Perlan Gayahay, Eboy Gayahay, Nick Unda, and all Decaparecidos!