KASAMA Vol. 25 No. 2 / April-May-June 2011 / Solidarity Philippines Australia Network

Thousands of Voices for Justice

James Moy Balao’s 1,000 Days of Enforced Disappearance

James BalaoCordillera Human Rights Alliance and Cordillera Peoples Alliance

Surface James Balao Campaign

May 23, 2011

Dear Friends,

Greetings of peace and justice!

June 12, 2011 marks the 1,000 days of James Moy Balao’s enforced disappearance. James is a founding member of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance and a member of the Ibaloi and Kankanaey indigenous peoples. His works include researches on indigenous peoples’ collective right to ancestral land and self–determination. He is also the President of the Oclupan Clan in Benguet province here in the Cordillera region. To date, James has not been surfaced, and both his parents passed away last year without seeing him returned safely to his family and colleagues.

In this regard, as we mark 1,000 days of untiring search for James, we enjoin all human rights advocates to send postcards to President Benigno Aquino III with the call to immediately surface James and all the disappeared. Thousands of postcards will be sent on June 12 to the President with simultaneous submissions from all–over the country and overseas. We encourage you and your organizations to conduct parallel actions as part of the postcards submission.

Copies of the postcards can be requested from the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance and Cordillera Peoples Alliance. For information & inquiries contact the secretariat at and 09189199007.

Thank you for your unending support and solidarity!

Joni Balao–Struggar, Winston Balao, Nonette Balao, Jude Baggo, Windel Bolinget
Cordillera Human Rights Alliance (CHRA) and Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA)

No. 55 Ferguson Road, Baguio City 2600, Philippines
Tel. (63) 74 304–4239 — Fax (63) 74 443–7159

James Moy Balao remains missing to date. He was abducted on September 17, 2008 at La Trinidad, Benguet by State security forces under the Operation Plan Bantay Laya (Freedom Watch) of the Gloria Macapagal–Arroyo (GMA) regime.

James’ family, colleagues, human rights groups and advocates have launched sustained campaign to search for him – in many military camps, police facilities and public institutions. The ‘Surface James Balao Campaign’ received broad support in the Cordillera region and from the national and international communities as well. The Writ of Amparo was granted by the local court in early 2009.

James’ 1,000th day of enforced disappearance takes place under the new administration of President Benigno Aquino III. With the continuing political persecution of legal people’s organizations, the change of administration has not translated to a change of policy in human rights, as Operation Plan (Oplan) Bayanihan commenced under this new regime.

We persist in the search for James. His family, colleagues, the indigenous peoples that he serves and many human rights advocates across the globe, will mark the 1,000 days of James' disappearance with thousands of postcards addressed to President Aquino. The thousands of voices for justice will call on President Aquino to immediately order the military to surface James Balao and prosecute the perpetrators of his abduction. We will also demand for a concrete action to surface all Desaparecidos.

** In the Cordillera, the surfacing of James will be included in the Prayers of the Faithful or its counterpart in different church denominations. An exhibit of James' works and the mounting of the postcards will be done in the Baguio Cathedral grounds on June 12 from 9:00 am. A short program will be held at 3:00pm.