Teachers’ group demands justice for Cebu development workers allegedly abducted

January 17, 2023 - 5:49 PM
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Candle-light protest for Dyan Gumanao and Armand Dayoha on January 16, 2023 (Facebook/UP Cebu)

A union of teachers called for justice and accountability following the alleged abduction of two development workers in Cebu.

Reports said that activists Dyan Gumanao and Armand Dayoha surfaced after they were reported missing.

Gumanao and Dayoha, who are a couple, were later fetched at a resort in Carmen, Cebu on Monday, January 16, according to a report.

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers-Philippines issued a strong call to punish those who have allegedly abducted Gumanao and Dayoha.

The alliance specifically appealed to the International Labor Organization to look into this case ahead of its probe on trade union rights in the Philippines.

“We demand justice and accountability on the abduction cases of Gumanao and Dayoha. We appeal to the International Labour Organization High-Level Tripartite Mission to give due attention to this very recent case which happened days before the holding of their investigation on trade union rights repression in the Philippines,” said ACT Philippines Chairperson Vladimer Quetua.

“Freedom of association and organizing unions are well-protected by the ILO Convention 87 and guaranteed by the 1987 Constitution. Violations of this right and attacks on unionists and union organizers should be deemed as criminal acts and its perpetrators should be meted with equally grave punishment,” Quetua added.

The alliance described the incident as a “rabid intent” against unions who fight for workers’ rights and decent wages.

“The staggering experience of Gumanao and Dayoha exposes the barefaced disregard of basic human rights by state forces and their rabid intent to harm and attack unionists who work tirelessly to uphold the rights of workers to decent wages, humane working conditions and freedom of association,” Quetua pointed out.

Karapatan Secretary-General Tina Palabay also issued a similar call to the ILO after the development workers were reunited with their families.

“The High-Level Tripartite Mission of the International Labor Organization should immediately look into this case as soon as the delegates commence their investigation on the violations on the right to freedom of association and right to organize,” Palabay tweeted.

A candlelight protest was held at the University of the Philippines-Cebu on the night Gumanao and Dayoha were reportedly found.

UP-Cebu posted photos of this ceremony on Facebook.

“Candlelight protest at the UP Cebu entrance gate calling the government to pursue accountability in the reported abduction of development workers Dyan Gumanao and Armand Dayoha,” the institution said.

Details on the alleged abduction

On January 14, Karapatan, human rights groups, and the couple’s friends took to social media to ask for help to find Gumanao and Dayoha who they said had been missing for three days at that time.

They said that they went missing on January 10.

UP-Cebu also joined in solidarity to ask the community to help resurface both individuals. It called for urgent police action to determine their whereabouts.

Dayoha is a fourth-year student at the university. He is taking his second degree—Bachelor of Fine Arts. Gumanao, on the other hand, is also an alumna of UP Cebu.

Last Monday, AlterMidya reported a video online that showed how Gumanao and Dayoha were purportedly abducted in broad daylight at the Cebu City Port last week.

It was contributed by a concerned citizen who witnessed the event.