Cordillera Human Rights Alliance and Cordillera Peoples Alliance
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.