'Missing' activist charged with murder and arson
After two weeks disappearance, it is revealed she is in jail
Estelita Tacalan had not been seen since April 27 until photos confirmed she is in jail
The leader of a prominent peasant group who was though to have disappeared two weeks ago has been confirmed arrested on murder and arson charges in Dipolog City.
The rights group Karapatan has released police mug shots of 60-year-old activist Estelita Tacalan, taken inside Dipolog City jail.
“We have not talked to her yet. But right now, what is important is that she is alive and we are happy that she is alive,” said Father Christopher Ablon, secretary general of Karapatan in Mindanao.
Tacalan has been involved in protests against abuses by landlords and has lobbied for economic and political rights for peasants.
"We are aghast at the way she has been taken away. If she is facing charges, what the authorities should have done was to follow the law and respect her rights. If she's a suspect, her rights as a suspect must still be respected," said Fr Ablon.
Chary Fe Montemayor, Tacalan’s daughter, earlier sought the help of the Department of Justice in trying to find her mother after she was last seen on April 27 attending a meeting in preparation for activities to mark Labor Day.
Church leaders in Mindanao earlier sent a letter addressed to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima urging her "to take the necessary action." The letter was signed by Archbishop Antonio Ledesma of Cagayan de Oro, Bishop Melzar Labuntog of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, and Reverend Samuel Domingo of the United Methodist Church.
Some believe the meeting's purpose was to enshrine officially into law tighter controls over religion
Authorities remain indifferent to violence against Christians, church leader says
Traditional local fish breeding sites getting damaged if fishermen are deprived of entering international waters
Good conscience, integrity, honesty among the necessary qualities for elected officials, archbishop says
Filipino archbishop reminds citizens to back candidates who support a clean environment
NEW! Premium ContentGet full access. Start your 14-day free trial today.
NEW! Premium ContentThank you for registering! Your 14-Day Free Trial begins today.Here is your login details to access Premium Content:
NEW! Premium ContentOops! That email address has already been registered. Please try again.