Students and staff from the University of the Philippines Baguio (UPB) joined the families of missing Indigenous Peoples’ rights activists Dexter Capuyan and Gene Roz Jamil “Bazoo” De Jesus, May 23, to urge the UPB Administration (Admin) to speak out about the UP alumni’s disappearance.
Council of Leaders (CL), All UP Academic Employees Union (AUPAEU), and Surface Dexter and Bazoo’s Team organized a vigil and solidarity gathering in UPB to call for the administration to release a support statement, Patricia Joan Daloria, CL chairperson said in an interview.
Daloria questioned why the UPB Admin has not issued any statement that could refute the accusations of trolls and red-taggers.
“Are they [UPB Admin] supporting [Surface Dexter and Bazoo’s Campaign]? Are they not supporting the campaign? In fact, nauna pang mag-release yung Chancellor of UP Visayas ng statement supporting the campaign for the surface of Dexter and Bazoo,” Daloria said.
Daloria mentioned that Bazoo’s mother and Dexter’s daughter personally went to UPB to ask the administration for support and commitment to help surface the two missing UPB alumni.
“We really got no concrete answers [at] solid answers [from UPB Admin] sa kung ano yung maibibigay talaga nila na suporta”, Daloria stated.
Mercedita De Jesus, Bazoo’s mother, said that they felt the strong support of everyone who attended the vigil and solidarity gathering for Dexter and Bazoo while she called the attention of UPB Admin.
“Ang hinihiling naman namin ngayon ay suporta mula sa administrasyon…sana lubus-lubusin na yung pagsuporta sa laban nating ito…ang isang aktibista ay hindi terorista,” Mercedita said in her message.
Dexter’s daughter, Gabrielle Capuyan thanked those who helped them call for the surface of Dexter and Bazoo, and appealed for the support of UPB Admin.
“Bilang alumni ang aking ama, at ang kanyang kasamahan na si Bazoo. Ayun po, so we continue to call for the support of the UP Administration as well as gather a statement from them,” Gabrielle said.
According to AUPAEU President Wilfredo Alangui, UPB used to release a statement for their missing alumni in the past years.
“‘Yan ang hinahanap natin ngayon sa administrasyon. Malaking bagay ‘yung dapat suporta na pinapakita nila sa paghahanap sa kanilang alumni. Malaking bagay sa pamilya [na] marinig sila, kung paano sila pumusisyon,” said Alangui.
Alangui believes that as a university, UPB should willingly release a support statement.
“[Hindi yung] kailangan pa natin silang kalampagin [kausapin] para lang mapilitang maglabas ng statement”, he added.
Mercedita said that it has been 25 days since the disappearance of Dexter and Bazoo while Gabrielle emphasized that they will not stop until they surface the two.
UPB, on May 24, released a short statement on their Facebook page following the call.
UPB expressed their concern for Dexter and Bazoo’s disappearance, but the UP constituents demand for more. By: Jasmine Margarette Estrella