mother of two daughters abducted by the military

three victims of forced migration

and a de facto president


July 12, 2008



Face of a mother, Maria Gumanoy:  Her husband
Eddie was killed by elements of the Philippine Army in 2003. Last week, she and her daughters were to meet in a mall in Alabang, but they never did. The daughters were able to text her later that the military took them. She went to the military camp to take custody of her daughters, especially Fatima, who is 17 and minor.


The military claims the two willingly went to them and sought their help. Fatima is kept in the camp's hospital for alleged various illnesses, including German measles and UTI. She is so weak that Maria worries that more harm may come to her especially because she is convinced that  what she saw when she was able to visit her were signs of torture. Her right as a mother to take custody of her child has been violated, among other things. So why is the military not giving her custody of Fatima?


Three faces (and more where they came from) of forced migration:

victims of illegal recruitment and detention in a Middle East jail.

Glee at the sight of increasing billions in OFW remittance money.

Face of the ____  (choose the word you like: the descriptive word used by  Jose Salceda  or that one by Romulo Neri or your own)


Mother of two daughters abducted by the military pleads for their release


Maria related, “Nang bumalik kami, di ko na makausap si Fatima. May lagnat siya. Para nang gulay, maputla ang labi.” (When we came back the next day, I could no longer talk to Fatima. She was so weak; her lips were pale.) Maria said Fatima had small red spots on her body. [From the Bulatlat article]



Mrs. Maria Gumanoy's statement on her daughter being under duress:

"My Rose Ann was threatened and forced," says mother of abducted daughter



July 12, 2008
For Reference: Alphonse Rivera, Officer in Charge, SALINLAHI ALLIANCE FOR CHILDREN'S CONCERNS (0929-6076157)



Advocates of children’s rights led by SALINLAHI Alliance for Children’s Concerns scored the military for the continued detention of Fatima Gumanoy, 17 years old, daughter of slain peasant leader Eddie Gumanoy. SALINLAHI demanded the Armed Forces of the Philippines to immediately release Fatima, a minor, and respect the right of Nanay Maria Gumanoy to take custody of her child especially at a time when her daughter needed her most. “We demand the immediate and unconditional release of Fatima from the custody of the AFP, as we know, Fatima has not been charged with any case and should therefore not be held by the military,“said Alphonse Rivera, spokesman of SALINLAHI.

‘If it is true that Fatima contracted German measles or any disease for that matter, the more she needs the care of her biological mother,” Rivera added. He also said that the anxiety and desperation of Nanay Maria on Fatima’s condition is fueled by her fear that the military will use Fatima against her will.

Citing Article 10 section 22-26 of RA 7610, Rivera said that the abduction and continuing detention of Fatima is a clear violation of existing national and international laws. “, The military has no right to deny Nanay Maria her maternity right over her daughter because Fatima did not commit any crime“.

For its part, the Children’s Rehabilitation Center, a Non-Government Organization working with children affected by armed conflict and a member of Salinlahi Alliance, expressed doubt over the intention of the AFP in ‘taking care’ of the Gumanoy sisters. “The wound inflicted by the AFP on the Gumanoy family when Tatay Eddie was killed had not been completely healed. The family has been constantly on the run due to threat and harassment by the military. So on what moral ground can they claim that they are after the welfare of the sisters?” said Eilek Manano, a registered Social Worker of the CRC.

Manano further added that the AFP as an institution has long list of cases of children being used as bait against their parents citing the case of “Nena”, an 8 year old from Cebu who was abducted by the military and Mary Jane Opo, 14 years old who remains missing to this day.

Salinlahi and CRC appeal to the international organizations especially the UNICEF and UN Special Representative to the Secretary-General for children and armed conflict, Ms. Raadhika Coomaraswamy who is set to visit the Philippines later this year, to look into the case of Fatima’s abduction. “Fatima’s case and other child rights violation perpetrated by the state’s Armed forces should be investigated by national and international bodies, these violations are widespread and committed with impunity by the Armed Forces who are supposedly protector of the children” ended Rivera. ###r


■  Download Urgent Action Alert and Fact Sheet

■  AFP urged to release abducted minor to mother

■  Palayain si Fatima at RoseAnn Gumanoy - Gabriela TK

Gabriela Rep. Luz Ilagan

Glenn Malabanan, KARAPATAN Southern Tagalog



Mother Pleads for Release of Daughters Held by AFP

In 2003, her husband was killed by elements of the Philippine Army under the command of then Col. Jovito Palparan, Jr. Her two daughters, one of whom is a minor, are now being held by the AFP.

Volume VIII, No. 23, July 13-19, 2008

On July 3, Rose Anne, 21, and Fatima Gumanoy, 17, were on their way to a mall in Alabang, Muntinlupa to meet their mother, Maria. They did not meet that day. Instead, Maria received a text message from her daughters that they were taken by military men.

Maria sought the help of Karapatan-Southern Tagalog to search for her daughters. On the same day, members of Karapatan ST accompanied Maria to the office of the Intelligence Services of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (Isafp). The Isafp denied having custody of the Gumanoy sisters.

In a press conference, July 12, Glenn Malabanan of Karapatan ST related that the next day, Col. Ernesto Torres issued a statement from the Philippine Army Headquarters at Fort Bonifacio claiming that the two have willingly sought the help of the AFP.

Maria said that before she was able to see her daughters, the soldiers checked every part of her body. “Kulang na lang hubaran nila ako. Sinuksok rin nila ang katawan ko ng stick.” (The only thing they did not do was to strip-search me. They poked my body with sticks.)

She said that during her first visit, she asked her daughters if it is true that they were not forcibly taken. Her daughters told her, “Saka na lang, Nanay.” (We will tell you later, Mother.) Maria said soldiers surrounded them and did not leave during the entire visit.

Maria said when she asked questions to Fatima, 17, a woman soldier who identified herself as Weng Arcel was the one responding to her questions. She noticed too, that Fatima would look at Arcel before saying anything.

Maria told the soldiers that she would take Fatima with her but a soldier who identified herself as a doctor refused. The military doctor who did not wear any nameplate told Maria that Fatima is under observation for urinary tract infection (UTI).

Maria told the soldiers, “Ako na magpapagamot, ako ang ina. Gustong-gusto nang sumama [ni Fatima]. Sabi ng doktora, di raw pwedeng sumama.” (Let me bring her to a doctor for treatment, I am the mother. Fatima was eager to come with me. The military doctor said she could not.)

The next day, the same doctor told Maria that Fatima contracted German measles.

Maria related, “Nang bumalik kami, di ko na makausap si Fatima. May lagnat siya. Para nang gulay, maputla ang labi.” (When we came back the next day, I could no longer talk to Fatima. She was so weak; her lips were pale.) Maria said Fatima had small red spots on her body.

Maria also said that the AFP is not authorized to arrest Rose Anne. Rose Anne was charged with rebellion and had just been released on bail last May 29.

Continuous harassment

Karapatan’s Malabanan disclosed that when Rose Ann was detained at the Quezon Provincial Jail, Lt. Juvy Cabading wanted to get her. When Rose Ann was confined at the V. Luna Hospital in Quezon City, it was Arcel who guarded her.

Malabanan said the soldiers at Fort Bonifacio prevented Fatima and Rose Anne from seeing a human rights lawyer and a doctor of their mother’s choice.

In the same press conference, Eileck Mañano, a social worker at the Children’s Rehabilitation Center (CRC) said that since 2001 the Gumanoy family has been continuously harassed by the military. They transferred from one place to another to avoid the military’s harassment and intimidation.

In 2003, Maria’s husband Eddie Gumanoy was killed along with Eden Marcellana while conducting a fact finding mission in Naujan, Oriental Mindoro by elements of the Philippine Army. Eddie was then the secretary general of the peasant group Katipunan ng Samahan ng mga Magsasaka sa Timog Katagalugan (KASAMA-TK or Federation of Peasant Associations in Southern Tagalog) and Marcellana was the secretary general of the Karapatan chapter in Southern Tagalog.


Mañano said the Gumanoy children are suffering from trauma and stress.

She said the children were uprooted from their daily activities; and their intellectual development had been hindered. “They also suffer from lack of security and certainty.”

Mañano said that the AFP cannot claim that it can give protection to Fatima and Rose Ann. “How could they claim that if Fatima and Rose Ann have been traumatized by their harassment?”


Gabriela Women’s Party List Representative Luzviminda Ilagan said that the continued detention of Fatima is illegal. “The AFP has no basis for the abduction and continued illegal detention of Fatima. There are no charges filed against her, therefore, there is no reason for them to keep her.”

Ilagan said, “The mother has every right to get her child...[who is] obviously in pain, especially since she is a minor. Apparently, Fatima has already been tortured.”


Ilagan explained that past practices of the AFP show that victims of military abuse are not released immediately to give time for the wounds and other torture marks to heal.

The GWP representative said she would file a resolution next week calling on the House Committees on Human Rights and on the Welfare of Children to conduct an investigation on the arrest and detention of the Gumanoy sisters.

Ilagan added that the AFP should be held accountable for violating the rights of the mother Maria and of the child Fatima. She said the AFP’s actions violated the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act, the Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act, and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.


Eilek Manano, Social Worker, CRC
Alphonse Rivera, SALINLAHI


She said that Maria’s right has also been violated as the latter was subjected to humiliation.

Alphonse Rivera, officer-in-charge of Salinlahi (Alliance for Children’s Concerns) also said that during their visits, the soldiers refused to identify themselves properly. He said that when Bayan Muna Representative Satur Ocampo tried to see the Gumanoy sisters, the latter was denied entry. He said that the soldiers also refused to provide the name of their superiors.

Not isolated

Rivera said that Fatima’s case is not isolated.

He cited other cases of violations of children’s rights. He recalled the killing of Grecil Buya, the massacre of Blanco family in Oriental Mindoro, the illegal arrest and detention of three minors in Quezon province, among others.

Salinlahi and CRC called on international organizations especially the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to look into these cases. United Nations Special Representative to the Secretary General Raadhika Coomaraswamy is set to visit the country later this year.

Rivera said that children have become victims of the Arroyo government’s counter-insurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya. Bulatlat


Click here for account of the killing of Eddie Gumanoy


GMANews.TV - Rose Anne, Fatima Gumanoy still with military ...

14 Hul 2008 ... MANILA, Philippines - Human rights group Karapatan on Monday night said Rose Anne and Fatima Gumanoy - daughters of peasant leader who was ...


Philippine Human Rights Reporting Project - Family and Rights ...

After seeking help for the nth time from the human rights group, KARAPATAN, the mother, Maria Gumanoy, of abducted sisters, Rose Ann and Fatima Gumanoy, ...


ABS-CBN News Online (Beta)

4 Hul 2008 ... Two daughters of slain peasant leader Eddie Gumanoy have been reported ... Roseann and Fatima are not missing but in the custody of the ...


AFP asked to release sisters to mother - 7/12/08

12 Hul 2008 ... MANILA, Philippines — Apparently unfazed by the appearance of Rose Anne and Fatima Gumanoy at a press conference on Thursday, the militant ...



13 Hul 2008 ... "They should release Fatima because she's a minor and has not been charged with any case," Maria Gumanoy, 43, said in a phone interview. ...


The Human Face of Migration

OFWs Renato Garcia, Justino van Estulle and Ace Ferrer were arrested after they left the Philippine Consulate premises where they asked for assistance. They were arrested, accused of teaing and writing the Quoran and detained for 4 months. Their case was dismissed after  4 months but the deportation process was extended for another month.


They were recruited by a company called Princess House Party Organizer.


They asked the assistance of the POLO-OWWA of the Philippine Embassy only to be told that they were not covered by the OWWA because of their immigration status..





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