KMP female worker arrested, detained in Oroquieta on rebellion raps


ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews /May 23)- A female worker of the  militant Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) in Lanao del Norte turned up in a provincial jail in Oroquieta City in Misamis Occidental, five days after she was last seen forcibly dragged into a  waiting van.

Bernadith Dignos, 26, married, turned up in the Oroquieta prison after informants told other nongovernment organizations that she was jailed in Oroquieta.

Ramsey Llanos, a member of Rural Missionaries of the Philippines, did not say who informed them but said they located Dignos in the Oroquieta prison, facing rebellion charges.

“It’s only today, May 23, that we were informed that Dignos is detained at the provincial jail of Oroquieta city,” he said.

“They illegally arrested Dignos and illegally detained her,” he added.

Dignos was nabbed on May 18 by three plainclothesmen suspected by Karapatan group as agents of the government. Witnesses siad that she was forcibly arrested at broad daylight, at around 11:00 am in front of Mr. Beefy Burger here.

Two witnesses described the van as orange-colored Isuzu Crosswind with plate number LDU 925.

Dignos was with her three friends that day for a medical check up at Dr. Uy Hospital of Iligan city for her pneumonia.

Dignos has been working as a peasant organizer in Lanao del Norte, dealing with landgrabbing problems.

Llanos said that the victim was “already tailed while inside the hospital.”

Llanos said several people witnessed the whole incident “because it happened at the heart of the city but no one dared to respond”.

Llanos said Dignos’ friends were still able to talk to her in her mobile phone hours after the incident “but they’d overhear a man dictating the victim on what to say.”

Dignos was able to call her parents also on that day where she informed them that “she was abducted and that she already met those military men who frequented in their house few months back looking for her and that they shouldn’t worry about her condition”.

At 6:00 pm on the same day, the victim called again her friend Jovelie Maniego and asked her to inform her husband. Maniego was one of two friends who accompanied her to the hospital,.

“Her friend told us that she also heard incoherent male voices which were heard instructing the victim on what to say,” Llanos said.

Thirty minuets later, one of the suspected abductors called up Maniego and asked Maniego to contact Dignos’ husband immediately. He refused to identify himself and informed them of their exact location.

Llanos and Dignos family have already sought legal assistance from lawyers.

Fr. Nazer Zaragoza, of the Social Action Center of the Iligan Catholic diocese and the co-chairperson of Movement for Truth, Justice and Peace has also assigned a monitoring on the condition of the victim “to protect her.” (Violeta M. Gloria/MindaNews)

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