Peace consultants abducted and arrested

According to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), peace consultant Ezequiel Daguman of the National Democratic Front (NDFP) was supposedly killed in an armed clash between the New People’s Army (NPA) and the AFP in Davao de Oro on March 27, 2022. The NDFP, however, disagrees with AFP’s statement: Daguman has been missing since March 7; he was allegedly kidnapped by members of the AFP along with his driver Bensito Julio on their way to a farming community in Davao del Norte.* The NDFP suspects that Daguman was murdered.

Another NDFP peace consultant was declared missing since March 8, 2022. According to the human rights organization Karapatan and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), Edwin Alcid as well as two farmers were arrested in Northern Samar and taken away in helicopters by armed forces. However, the AFP claims not to have arrested anyone named “Edwin Alcid”. In addition, on April 11, 2022, two former peace advisors were arrested: Ernesto Lorenzo and Rosita Celino-Serrano. They were waiting in line to get a Covid 19 vaccination in Metro Manila, Parañaque City. Lorenzo was facing two warrants of arrest for kidnapping, serious illegal detention, and attempted murder.

*The date of the kidnapping is unclear; different sources are indicating either March 7 or March 17.

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