CERNET, Inc. raises grave alarm on the welfare and safety of our Special Support Services (SSS) Coordinator April Dyan Gumanao commonly known as “Dyan” who, together with her partner and Labor rights advocate Armand Jake Dayoha, went missing this week.
Her kin reports that, on January 10, 2022, they were expected to arrive back in Cebu after their Christmas trip. However, families and colleagues said that they have not arrived nor seen them since then.
Dyan Gumanao has worked in CERNET, Inc. for six years already, previously as Advocacy staff and currently as SSS Coordinator who assists our partner organizations on legal services and relief delivery operations. She has displayed relentless service to our communities in Central Visayas. This is proven by the fact that she is even volunteering for the Alliance of Concerned Teachers in Region 7.
Armand Dayoha is also a staunch labor organizer of Alyansa sa Mamumuo sa Sugbo (AMA Sugbo) and coordinator of Alliance of Health Worker Cebu. He also works as a development worker in a Labor Rights NGO.
This is not the first time Dyan has reported threats on her security. She was one of the dubbed “Cebu 8” who were arrested during the pandemic for protesting the Anti-Terrorism Law. In January 2021, after another peaceful protest in commemoration of the Mendiola Massacre, Dyan and Armand were also tailed by non-uniformed intel officers until they reached a mall in Cebu City.
CERNET, Inc. finds this incident seriously alarming considering the existing trend of attacks on development workers in Central Visayas, starting with the abduction and death of Elena Tijamo of the Central Visayas Farmers Development Center. Just last year, our staff Joe March Villarante was approached and red-tagged by non-uniformed officers who asked him to “cooperate” with state forces in divulging “illicit” activities within CERNET. Trumped-up charges were also filed against one of CERNET’s Board Members, Executive Director of Women’s Development Center, and Convener of KINABUHI, Maria Ira Pamat.
It is disheartening that government agencies have remained passive on these grave concerns. Again, CERNET, Inc. calls for immediate response and investigation not only for Dyan and Armand, but for all development workers, NGO staff, human rights defenders, and people’s organization leaders who face peril for their incessantly principled struggle for justice and better living conditions.
Together with Dyan and Armand’s family, CERNET, Inc. prays for their safety and return. We urge all friends and advocates to clamor on the immediate resurfacing of Dyan Gumanao and Armand Dayoha.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article is that of the author only and do not necessarily represent the views of their organization nor of the CPDG.