Melissa Roxas is a Filipina American poet, human rights activist and community health workers, who was abducted and tortured by elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines on May 19, 2009, while conducting community health work in La Paz, Tarlac, Philippines. She was held incommunicado and tortured for six days in a military camp. Despite overwhelming evidence that the AFP was responsible for Melissa’s abduction and torture, the Philippine government continues to deny responsibility and neither the Philippine nor U.S. governments have prosecuted the perpetrators. Melissa’s case is an example of the pattern of impunity that persists in the Philippines to this day, which has resulted in the victimization of tens of thousands of innocent people by state-sponsored killings, disappearances, illegal detentions, eviction and torture. BAYAN-USA is a member of the Justice for Melissa Campaign, a network of community organizations, churches and peace-loving individuals who support Melissa and her pursuit of justice and accountability.
Goals and Objectives
- Attain justice for Melissa Roxas by way of a full investigation, arrest and prosecution of the parties responsible for her abduction and torture, utilizing all possible Philippines, U.S. and international vehicles.
- Increase international pressure against the Philippine government to stop the rampant human rights violations and political repression in the Philippines.
- Ensure that US tax dollars are not being used to enable state-sponsored human rights violations in the Philippine military.
- Forge meaningful alliances with organizations, churches, and human rights networks for the cause of human rights in the Philippines.
- Support the full recovery of Melissa Roxas from abduction and torture and ensure her well-being by way of broad community and medical support.
- Raise broad awareness about Melissa Roxas’ case through public speaking, media placements and appearances, presentations, community action, forums, and other means.
- Garner public support from elected officials, organizations and prominent individuals to demand accountability from all responsible parties for the abduction and torture of Melissa Roxas.
- Strengthen and enforce human rights conditions on all U.S. military aid to the Philippines.