/ 21 April 2021

ANAKBAYAN condemned the alleged abduction of two youth activists by agents of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.

The group said that Alicia Lucena and Sofia Bangayan were summoned to the barangay hall in Sampaloc, Manila City on April 19, 2021 for a “randomized swab testing” but NTF-ELCAC agents were waiting for them instead.

The group claimed that the NTF-ELCAC orchestrated a “buy-bust styled operation” to abduct the two youth activists.

“Swab tests are now being used to entrap and abduct relief workers and community organizers while Covid19 active cases and deaths are on the rise. Duterte is using contact tracing to track critical voices and swab testing to reel them in,” Jeann Miranda, Anakbayan national spokesman, said.

The group said that Bangayan was taken back to her home in Makati. However, there was no information on the whereabouts of Lucena.

Lucena was the subject of a petition for Writs of Amparo and Habeas Corpus filed by her parents last year.

The petition was dismissed by the Supreme Court for lack of merit.

Anakbayan said Lucena could have been kept incommunicado and “subjected to torturous psychological warfare by state forces.”

“Anakbayan will not rest until Alicia and Sofia are put to safety — released from the hands and surveillance of state forces. The group will mobilize its chapters across the country, mounting gargantuan protest actions,” it said.