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www.journal.com.ph, 26 Dec 2006 [cached]
Like weeping mothers who have lost their babies, Isabelita "Bilet" Umali Batralo and Cora Batralo Ramil aired this plea to the suspected abductors of their brother, National Democratic Front consultant Cesar Batralo.
disappeared on his
way home on the night of Dec. 21 in San Mateo, Rizal.He
reportedly took advantage of the stalled peace process to join a Christmas family reunion in San Pablo City.
Records from the human rights group Karapatan revealed that Batralo
, alias Armando "Ka Ruben/Edmon" Guevarra, is the 94th victim of "enforced disappearance" under the Arroyo
administration.Batralo is the 5th ranking NDF consultant and the third highest-ranking rebel official in Southern Tagalog who has disappeared.
Cora and Bilet added they have spent the past days, including Christmas, searching police and military camps, hospitals as well as morgues for traces of Cesar
whom they last saw at a family reunion two years ago.
Fernando Mesa has likewise denied having Batralo
under their custody.
Bilet expressed her
family's fears that something dreadful has happened to Cesar
has been missing for more than a week.
On May 8, Philip "Ka Ador" Limjoco, an ailing rebel consultant who also hails from San Pablo City and whom the intelligence community claimed to be the chief of the NPA's
Special Operations Group (SOG), disappeared in Dau, Pampanga.
On June 26, Prudencio Calubid, another ranking NDF consultant, vanished while traversing the Maharlika Highway in Sipocot,Camarines Sur.
There were reports that Batralo's
"most likely" abductors are cops.
An intelligence operative familiar with Batralo
said the military would gain nothing in hiding the victim or doing him harm.
"Kung kami ang nakahuli sa kanya, we can assure his
family na hindi siya masasaktan at siguro matagal na ay nagpa-presscon na kami dahil hindi naman siya (Batralo) ordinaryong rebelde lang," the source, who requested anonymity, said. The source claimed that Batralo is the military commander and spokesman of the Narciso Antazo Aramil Command, the NPA's operational command for the whole of Rizal province.Batralo is also reportedly a ranking leader of the Melito Glor Command, the group in charge of all rebel forces in Southern Tagalog.