The Centre d’appui aux Philippines / Center for Philippine Concerns (CAP-CPC) condemns in no uncertain terms the continuing disappearance of James Moy Balao. He has been missing since September 17, 2008.
James Balao is an activist advocating for the improvement of the conditions of the people in his community. He is a founding member of the Cordillera People's Alliance and the regional chapter of Bayan in the Cordillera region.
He is professionally a researcher of and for the people of the Cordillera. His selfless willingness to use his education and skills in the service of his family and his people has greatly contributed to the Cordillera's collectivity and connectivity.
It is reported that starting the first week of June this year, James and the rest of his family have been under regular surveillance by unidentified people. Vehicles with heavily tinted windows have been regularly seen tailing him and the family from their residence to wherever they went during the day. It is believed that his years with the legal progressive people's movement have made James the target of state terrorism.
This is totally unacceptable in a democratic society.
The Centre d’appui aux Philippines / Center for Philippine Concerns is an organization of Filipinos and non- Filipinos in Canada. It advocates for the promotion of and respect for human rights of all peoples.
The CAP-CPC therefore is one with the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) and the human rights group Karapatan and the Cordillera Peoples Alliance in demanding for the surfacing of James Moy Balao.
The Centre d’appui aux Philippines / Center for Philippine Concerns demands that:
1. the Arroyo government create an impartial and independent body to investigate the disappearance of James Balao
2. the Arroyo government allow the UNITED NATIONS Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) under the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights to conduct an investigation in order that the truth be found.
The HR Desk of the CAP-CPC