Elena Tijamo was a human rights defender, community organizer, and coordinator at the NGO Farmers Development Center (FARDEC) in Central Visayas. She lived in Bantayan, Cebu.
On June 13, 2020, four unidentified armed men and two women kidnapped her from her home in Sitio Avocado, Barangay Kampingganon, Bantayan Island, Cebu (Visayas). Since then, her whereabouts were unknown. Tijamo’s family reported the case to the police.
On August 30, 2021, one of her family members based in Manila – far away from where she was originally abducted – received a call from an unknown person saying that Tijamo had received surgery and had died in a hospital. It took her family two more days to get access to her body, which had already been brought to a funeral home under a false name.
Tijamo served also as community radio coordinator for FARDEC in Bantayan Island, Cebu. FARDEC has a radio program, Radyo Sugbuanon, in partnership with the International Association of Women in Radio & Television (IAWRT) Philippines. Before her disappearance, Tijamo became a victim of red-tagging.
Tijamo’s family is still waiting for an impartial investigation to be conducted and for the perpetrators to be held accountable.
On September 10, 2021, the AMP released a statement on the death of Elena Tijamo.
The AMP Human Rights Report of 2022 documents the Tijamo case on page 19.
Update: January 31, 2023
Photo © FARDEC