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Military says Karapatan official ‘surrendered’; rights group had reported her missing

The Army's 2nd Infantry Division on Thursday said that the secretary general of Karapatan-Quezon surrendered to the military on Monday, after the rights group reported her missing.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Karapatan-Timog Katagalugan appealed to the public to help them find Genelyn Dichoso, a human rights worker in Quezon.


URGENT ALERT: Help us find Genelyn “Jen” Dichoso, Karapatan human rights worker in Quezon. On April 5, Dichoso was...

Posted by Karapatan on Tuesday, April 6, 2021


“On April 5, Dichoso was supposed to go to a doctor with her daughter for a medical check-up regarding a suspected heart condition; she was not feeling well and was having headaches,” it said.

“Yesterday, April 6, a Karapatan - Quezon staff member received a call from Dichoso who said that she was arrested and is in the custody of the 201st Infantry Brigade in Calauag, Quezon,” it added.

According to the group, her colleagues have yet to confirm if Dichoso is indeed in the custody of the military, “as they are being harassed as well.”

The group called on the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines and volunteer lawyers to help find their colleague.

In a statement on Thursday, 2nd Infantry Division public affairs office chief Captain Jayrald Ternio denied that the military arrested Dichoso, saying she surrendered to the government security forces through the help of the local government.

He also accused Karapatan-Quezon of being a legal front for the Communist Party of the Philippines.

“The latter voluntarily surrendered after she realized that ‘only selfish interests of the few are being prioritized by the NPA and that there is nothing to gain in supporting the armed group,’” he said.

According to him, Dichoso and the local officials signed an affidavit of surrender stating her true intention of voluntary surrender without being harassed by the government forces.

2ID acting commander Brigadier General Rommel Tello hit Karapatan Southern Tagalog.

"The surrender further solidifies the CPP-NPA's irrecoverable defeat considering that not only its ordinary fighters are  disillusioned  but there are also indications of discontent among their top leaders,” he said.

GMA News Online has reached out to Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay and the Karapatan-Timog Katagalugan for comment. — BM, GMA News