Further information on UA 273/90 (ASA 35/20/90, 2 July) - Philippines: "disappearances": Amelia Tena
EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: ASA 35/29/90
18 December 1990
Further information on UA 273/90 (ASA 35/20/90, 2 July 1990) - "Disappearance"
PHILIPPINES: Amelia TENA (f), aged 22, member of youth organization
Amnesty International has learned that, in spite of repeated inquiries,
relatives of Amelia Tena have been unable to discover her whereabouts. Amelia
Tena was abducted on 26 May 1990 by armed men believed to be members of the
Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP). Amnesty
International reported that after the arrest a witness was able to identify
two of the men by name; however the witness subsequently went into hiding for
fear of reprisals by the military forces. Since the abduction, military
authorities in the area of Laguna province - where Amelia Tena was originally
detained - have consistently denied that she is being held in custody.
On 7 June 1990, a relative reported that Amelia Tena was believed to
be held at the 224th Company of the Philippines Constabulary (PC) in Camp
Eldridge, Los Banos, Laguna. Members of the governmental Philippines
Commission on Human Rights (PCHR) immediately visited the camp but were unable
to find Amelia Tena there.
On 28 September, another relative reported having received two letters.
The first, apparently from an ISAFP officer, invited her to meet him at a
designated time and place. The relative did not go to the meeting for fear
of herself becoming a victim of abduction, particularly as the letter instructed
her to attend alone. The second letter was apparently from Amelia Tena herself.
It instructed the relative to attend a court hearing of the case of eight
political prisoners who, the letter said, would have news of Amelia Tena's
whereabouts and the conditions of her detention. The relative attended the
hearing but the defendants said they knew nothing of the "disappeared" person.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/express and airmail letters:
- expressing concern for the safety of Amelia Tena who has now been "disappeared"
for nearly seven months;
- urging the authorities to take immediate and effective measures to protect
the physical safety of all those held in military or police custody and to
end the practice of holding prisoners in unacknowledged detention;
- urging the government to conduct an immediate inquiry into Amelia Tena's
case, to ensure that witnesses are protected from harassment or intimidation
by the authorities, and that the results of the investigation are made public;
- calling on the government to ensure that all those found to be responsible
for human rights abuses are brought to justice.
President Corazon Aquino
Telegrams: President Aquino, Manila, Philippines
Telexes: 40414 MALCOM PN, 45618 RMC PM,
63370 PRES PN or 82361 PRES PU
Faxes: + 63 2 832 3793 (via Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
+ 63 2 731 1325 (via Press Secretary to the President)
General Fidel V. Ramos
Secretary of National Defense
Department of National Defense
Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo
Metro Manila, Philippines
Telegrams: Defense Secretary Ramos, Quezon, Philippines
Telexes: 22471 DND PH or 42004 DCSLOG PM
Faxes: + 63 2 721 3988
Captain Felipe Buena
Los Banos, Laguna
Telegrams: Capt. Buena, 224 PC, Camp Eldridge, Los Banos, Laguna, Philippines
Laguna Constabulary Command
Sta Cruz, Laguna
Telegrams: Cdr, Laguna Constab. Command, Sta Cruz, Laguna, Philippines
Mary Concepcion Bautista
Commission on Human Rights
IBP Building Complex
Dona Julia Vargas Avenue
Pasig Metro Manila, Philippines
and to diplomatic representatives of the Philippines in your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 29 January 1991.