Press Release by Ilocos Human Rights Advocates on the Arrest of Pastor Jun Bunoan

From the
Ilocos Human Rights Advocates (IHRA-KARAPATAN)

#16 Gomez St. Brgy. 4, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur 2700

Vigan City – The Ilocos Human Rights Advocates (IHRA-KARAPATAN) vehemently condemns the fascist Arroyo regime for persecuting political dissenters and peace advocates as manifested in the false charges against United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) Pastor Jun Bunoan who was arrested and detained last April 21, 2007 in Baguio City.

IHRA believes these moves of GMA aim to dispel peace advocates from exposing her fascist character.

LastApril 21, at around 5:30 pm, UCCP Pastor Francisco "Jun" Bunoan, 45years old, and a resident of Aringay, La Union, was arrested byOperatives of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Intelligence Group-Cordillera while waiting for a ride together with his brother.Supt. James Bucayo and his team apprehended after confirming his identity and immediately brought him to Camp Dangwa where he stayeduntil April 22.

The arrest was made under the virtue of a Warrant of Arrest issued by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Abra fortheir alleged involvement in murder of Fr. Conrado Balweg in December31, 1999. On April 23, Pastor Jun was brought to the Abra Provincial Jail, and his arraignment is scheduled sometime in May.

Pastor Jun Bunoan was one of the 14 names that were accused of killing Fr. Balweg on December 31, 1999 despite the admission of the Agustin Begnalen Command (ABC) of the New People's Army (NPA) of the killing.

Others include the late Romy Sanchez ofBAYAN-Ilocos, Rev. Noel and Emelyn Dacuycuy of Ilocos Human Rights Advocates (IHRA), Avelino Dacanay and Nomer Kuan of Solidarity ofPeasants Against Exploitation (STOP Exploitation-KMP) and Lorna Rivera-Baba of Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) who suffered from severe torture from the military in 2000. However, their cases were dismissed after proving their innocence.

As a faithful servant of God and as a peace advocate, Pastor Jun Bunoan served as achurch worker of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP)in the Ilocos Region. In line with his continuous service to the people, he is previously working at the North Luzon Jurisdiction (NLJ)under Bishop Mario Inong as a Researcher for Ilocos, Baguio, Tarlac andManila.

IHRA believes that Pastor Jun's arrest and detention is part of the OPLANBANTAY LAYA 2, the continuation of the futile OPLAN BANTAY LAYA 1. Said National Policy is aimed at annihilating the revolutionary movement by targetting the "legal fronts" of the Communist Party of the Philippines(CPP) for "neutralization" either by persecuting political dissentersor through spate of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearance.

PastorJun is the third victim of criminalization of political offenses this year. Earlier two (2) peasants were falsely charged with Homicide and Murder respectively.

Amidst worsening human rights violations, the government of the republic of the Philippines (GRP) should be pressured to respect, defend and protect human rights at all cost.

Send your petitions and communications to call for the immediate release of PASTOR JUN BUNOAN and to scrap the case filed against him [to the following authorities].

Hon. Anita Chauhan
Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights Region I
Pagdalagan, San Fernando City, La Union
Tel. No. (072)-700-3607

H.E. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
President of the Republic
Malacanang Palace,
JP Laurel St. , San Miguel
Manila Philippines
Voice: (+632) 564 1451 to 80
Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968
Cell#: (+ 63) 919 898 4622 / (+63) 917 839 8462
E-mail: /

Office of the Peace Process
7th Floor Agustin Building I
Emerald Avenue
Pasig City 1605
Voice:+63 (2) 636 0701 to 066
Mobile :
Fax:+63 (2) 635 9579

The Secretary for National Defense
Room 301 DND Building, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo,
E. de los Santos Avenue
Quezon City
Voice:+63(2) 911-9281 / 911-0488
Fax:+63(2) 911 6213

Hon. Purificacion Valera Quisumbing
Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., UP Complex
Commonwealth Avenue
Diliman, Quezon City
Fax: (+632) 929 0102

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