James Moy Balao is founding member of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance and a member of the Ibaloi and Kankanaey indigenous peoples in the Philippines. His works include researches on indigenous peoples’ collective right to ancestral land and self-determination. He is also the President of the Oclupan Clan in Benguet province in the Cordillera region, Philippines.
He was abducted on September 17, 2008 at La Trinidad, Benguet by State security forces under the Operation Plan Bantay Laya (Freedom Watch) of the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) regime. He has not been surfaced to this day.
James’ family, colleagues, human rights groups and advocates have launched sustained campaign to search for him – in many military camps, police facilities and public institutions.
How can you help? By calling, writing, faxing, e-mailing the Philippine embassy in Ottawa to demand the surfacing of James Moy Balao:
Address: 130 Albert St. Suite 900, Ottawa ON K1P 5G4
Tel. Nos.: +1 613-2331121
Fax No.: +1 613-2334165
The ‘Surface James Balao Campaign’ received broad support in the Cordillera region and from the national and international communities as well. The Writ of Amparo was granted by the local court in early 2009, compelling the military and security forces to give information with regards to the abduction of James.
However, inspite of all these efforts, James has not been brought back to his family and colleagues. His parents, Arthur and Jane Balao passed away last year without seeing their son.
June 12, 2011 marks James’ 1,000th day of enforced disappearance, which also takes place under the new administration of President Benigno Aquino III. With the continuing political persecution of legal people’s organizations, the change of administration has not translated to a change of policy in human rights, as Operation Plan (Oplan) Bayanihan commenced under this new regime.
We persist in the search for James. His family, colleagues, the indigenous peoples that he serves and many human rights advocates across the globe, will mark the 1,000 days of James disappearance with thousands of postcards and signed petitions addressed to President Aquino.
The thousands of voices for justice will call on Philippine President Aquino to immediately order the military to surface James Balao and prosecute the perpetrators of his abduction. We also demand for a concrete action to surface all Desaparecidos.
Cordillera Peoples Alliance & Cordillera Human Rights Alliance