Aquino help sought for missing lawyerPhilippine Daily Inquirer
DINALUPIHAN, Bataan—The 200-member Ang Iglesia Metodista sa Pilipinas (AIM-Pilipinas), a Methodist church denomination, is asking President Aquino to order the police and other agencies to speed up the search for missing Bataan lawyer Joe Frank Zuñiga, who has been missing since June 20.
Zuñiga’s disappearance was discussed by AIM-Pilipinas’ Central Luzon bishops at a Friday conference in Barangay Luakan here, said Lito Cabacungan Tangonan, AIM-Pilipinas national bishop.
Tangonan said church leaders were drafting a letter to the President to urge quick action on the case of Zuñiga, older brother of former Orani Mayor Marlo Zuñiga.
“Zuñiga had been the pillar of AIM-Pilipinas during its early stage of struggle to declare independence from the mother church,” he said.
Zuñiga has been an active member of Punong Lyko ng Capitol Methodist Church in Balanga City and is AIM-Pilipinas president and chair of the board of trustees.
Zuñiga, 54, was last seen on June 20 in Morong town, where he proceeded after meeting with officials of Ocean Adventure at Subic Bay Freeport.
On June 21, Zuñiga’s red Honda Civic sedan was found abandoned near a dike in Botolan town in Zambales. Forensic investigators said only his mobile telephone was missing from his belongings. His laptop was still in his car.
The Bataan chapter of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) had passed a resolution expressing alarm over the lawyer’s disappearance. The IBP also said that it planned to raise reward money to help in the search for Zuñiga.
Chat Zuñiga, wife of the missing lawyer, has appealed for information that may shed light on her husband’s disappearance.
So far, no good lead has turned up in the investigation on the disappearance, said Senior Supt. Rudy Lacadin, chief of the regional police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.
“His status is still missing. There is no confirmation that he was abducted,” Lacadin said.
Pastor Ador Valencia, district supervising elder in Bataan and a member of AIM-Pilipinas board of trustees, said he last saw Zuñiga on June 16 during a district assembly in Balanga City.
He recalled that Zuñiga had casually talked of death threats he received. “He didn’t give details or mention suspects. We’re [clueless],” he said. Greg Refraccion, Inquirer Central Luzon