Statement of the Commission on Human Rights calling for the prompt action on the disappearance of William Lariosa one month after his reported arrest

Statement of the Commission on Human Rights calling for the prompt action on the disappearance of William Lariosa one month after his reported arrest

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is deeply alarmed that William Lariosa, a veteran labour organiser is yet to be found despite efforts from various human rights groups to identify his whereabouts.

It must be remembered that Lariosa, a member of the Kilusang Mayo Uno in the Southern Mindanao Region, had been allegedly arrested by suspected military agents on 10 April 2024 in Barangay Butong, Quezon, Bukidnon. Prior to his disappearance, reports say that he and his family had been targeted with threats and harassment.

The family of Lariosa reached out to CHR Region X and XI regarding the search for the labour organiser. The Commission is committed to conduct an independent investigation on the case, and both Regional Offices are in coordination with the Lariosa family and relevant agencies and groups in order to speed up the search and determine his safety. We also urge the public who may have leads on the location of Lariosa to reach out to investigation groups.

The Commission reiterates that arbitrary or unlawful deprivation of liberty are grave human rights violations as stipulated under Republic Act No. 10353, or the Anti-Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance Act of 2012. Some of these acts may include illegal arrests, detention, or abduction.

With the recent commemoration of Labor Day last 01 May, we echo the call of the labour workforce in urging the Philippine government to address the recurring vulnerabilities that Filipino workers face on a daily basis and to provide accessible avenues for them to express their grievances. We hope that the State will take decisive actions in confronting this matter before another case of a missing labour organiser arises.###