Human rights group Karapatan reported that five men with cropped haircut “who look like military” forcibly took Gilbert Rey Cardino, 26, married, from the tricycle he was riding in. One of them reportedly wore a black long-sleeved shirt with “police” markings at the back.
Sr. Supt. Robert Kiunisala, provincial police director, corroborated Karapatan’s report, saying some of the suspects were clad in police uniforms.
Cardiño reportedly left his house at Barangay New Pangasinan around 9:45 a.m. and was on the tricycle when a white L-300 van without plates blocked his way at Barangay Sto. Niño, some two kilometers from the heart of the city.
Citing witnesses, Karapatan said that four men forcibly carried Cardiño to the L-300 while the fifth man approached the tricycle driver and took away the motorcycle’s key.
Another tricycle passenger reportedly held on to Cardino as the four men dragged him away.
Aside from his post at Bayan Muna, where he was actively involved in the partylist campaign, Cardino is also a staff of the South Cotabato People’s Alliance for National and Democracy.