Farmer-scientists slam abduction of agri group officer in Cebu
MANILA, Philippines — The Magsasaka at Siyentipiko Para sa Pag-unlad ng Agrikultura (MASIPAG) on Wednesday condemned the abduction of a farmer’s group officer in Brgy. Kampingganon, Bantayan, Cebu.
In a statement, MASIPAG expressed outrage over the abduction of Elena Tijamo, a sustainable agriculture program coordinator of the Farmers Development Center (Fardec), who was forcibly taken from her home by six suspected military agents.
“MASIPAG is enraged, saddened, and dismayed with the intensifying human rights abuses and attacks by duty bearers against development workers,” the group said.
“MASIPAG condemns the abduction of Lina Tijamo and the intimidation received by her family,” it added.
MASIPAG lamented that instead of putting aggressive action and focus addressing the COVID-19 crisis, the “state enforcement agencies have reportedly committed an escalating number of abuses to human rights.”
Tijamo was forcibly taken from her home by four armed men accompanied by two women around 9 p.m. of June 13.
The farmer-scientist group said the suspects did not introduce themselves nor presented a warrant for barging into Tijamo’s house.
It added that “based on verifiable accounts”, Tijamo’s hands were tied behind her back while her mouth was taped.
Tijamo’s whereabouts remain unknown despite the promise of the Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) to look into the case.
MASIPAG described Tijamo as an “energetic coordinator” of Fardec who “tirelessly devoted her efforts to provide needed and appropriate services aimed to alleviate the plight of poor farming communities affected by Typhoon Yolanda in 2013, drought in 2018 and the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“Without formal complaint against Lina Tijamo and not having known her whereabouts for 11 days now, is truly a great cause for alarm,” the group said.
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