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Prayer vigils in Bataan start for missing lawyer

/ 05:06 AM June 25, 2012

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—The Iglesia Metodista ng Pilipinas (IMP) and its 200 congregations have begun prayer vigils on Sunday for the safety of the former president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) in Bataan, who has been missing since June 20.

No good lead has turned up in the investigation on the disappearance of lawyer Joe Frank Zuñiga, said Senior Superintendent Rudy Lacadin, chief of the police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.

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“His status is still missing. There is no confirmation that he was abducted,” Lacadin said on Sunday.

A prayer rally in Balanga City on Saturday preceded the vigils, said Pastor Ador Valencia, district supervising elder in Bataan and a member of the church’s board of trustees.

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Zuñiga, 54, is the  national president of the conference of lay leaders of IMP, which broke away from the United Methodist Church several years ago.

Valencia said he last saw Zuñiga on June 16 during a district assembly in Balanga City.

Dr. Marlo Zuñiga said executives of the Ocean Adventure reported seeing his brother in a business conference at the park in the Subic Bay Freeport on June 20.

The lawyer told one of the the park’s officials that he was attending another meeting and he would proceed to Limay, Bataan, schedules that his wife and employees were not aware of.

Later that day, Zuñiga’s red Honda Civic was seen parked on a dike located 2 kilometers from the Zambales-Pangasinan Highway along Carael village in Botolan, Zambales.

Valencia recalled that Zuñiga had casually talked of death threats he received. “He didn’t give details or mention suspects. We’re [clueless],” he said.

Doctor Zuñiga said his brother had not called or sent text messages to his wife and three children since Wednesday. His mobile phone had been switched off.  Tonette Orejas, Inquirer Central Luzon

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TAGS: Bataan, CIDG, disappearances, Joe Frank Zuñiga, Police
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