Where is Margarita “Gingging” Valle and why was she nabbed at the Laguindingan airport?

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 09 June) – Fidelina Margarita “Gingging Avellanosa – Valle,” a development worker and freelance writer was arrested Sunday morning at the Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental, her arrest she reported by phone to a nun before she was forcibly taken away by the arresting team.

Sister Mila Gimeno of the Missionaries of the Assumption (MA) told MindaNews Sunday that she received a frantic call from the 61-year old Valle at around 10:07 a.m., informing her that she was being arrested and that she would be brought to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).

Fidelina Margarita “Gingging” Valle, 61, of Davao City was arrested Sunday morning at the Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental at around 10 a.m.. As of 4:30 p.m., the family has yet to hear from Valle. The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Region 10 confirmed the arrest but said it was the CIDG-9 that arrested Valle. Photo from Valle’s FB page

Valle, married with four children and two grandchildren, was at the Laguindingan Airport awaiting her flight back to Davao City where she resides, when she was arrested. Before that she was in Pagadian City for a training-workshop.

The nun said she could hear a commotion in the background and heard Valle ask the arresting officer why she was being arrested but was told to just go with them to the CIDG office.

“She was forcibly arrested. Forceful gyud,” recalled Sister Mila. But she also said Valle kept asserting her rights, questioning the arresting team on the basis for her arrest.

Before their phone connection was cut, Sister Mila heard Valle say “gibira na ko, gibira na ko” (they’re pulling me, they’re pulling me). The nun said she tried to call Valle several times after that but could no longer contact her.

Valle, a 1982 graduate of BA Communication Arts at the Ateneo de Davao University, was a reporter of the Media Mindanao News Service from the 1980s until it ceased operations in1996. She was a correspondent of Mr & Ms Special Edition until the People Power ousted the Marcoses in 1986. She also served as Administrative Officer of MindaNews on its first year in 2001.

Valle was a columnist of SunStar Davao until early 2018. She now writes a column, Kanak Gamay na Kyatigaman (My Little Understanding) for the online paper, Davao Today, as Fides Avellanosa.

She went into development work and teaching, did consultancy work and served as volunteer in projects on Indigenous Peoples and is presently doing research work for the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines while completing a book with Sister Mila on the MA’s 30-year history.

She finished her MA in Humanities, Major in Women Studies at the St. Scholastica’s College Manila and Assumption College of Davao in 2010.

Arrest confirmed but…

Valle’s son, Rius, told MindaNews that as of 4:30 p.m. Sunday, they have not heard from their mom.

Family members are worried about Valle’s health condition as the 61-year old is hypertensive, asthmatic, has allergic rhinitis and amoebiasis.

In Cagayan de Oro, Maj. Napoleon Carpio of CIDG-10 (Northern Mindanao) confirmed the arrest of Valle to CDO-based reporters but said it was CIDG-9 that conducted the arrest.

Lawyer Beverly Musni, who is looking into Valle’s arrest, said she was also informed that Valle is not in the custody of CIDG 10.

MindaNews is still checking with CIDG-9 (Western Mindanao / Zamboanga region) based in Zamboanga City.

Various fields

Valle worked on various issues – human rights, women, Indigenous Peoples, disaster risk reduction, peace, ecology, children, among others.

She was Project Coordinator, Enhancing Capacities in Disaster Risk Reduction Management for More Resilient Peoples and Communities, Mindanao Interfaith Services Foundation, Inc. (MISFI); was Communication and Advocacy Officer of SUCCEED Solidarity for Global Peace, Ecology, and Inclusive Economic Development (SUCCCED Global); authored a case study on the ECOWEB non-government organization as commissioned by SUCCEED, Inc. on the Inclusive Economic Development in Muslim Mindanao in 2014; wrote the NorthEastern Mindanao Regional Assessment for the Act for Peace from August 2010; co-edited the Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessment of some municipalities in the Province of Agusan del Norte for the International Labor Organization (ILO); acted as part-time Human Resource Development Officer for Pilipinhon Development Cooperative; documented Philippine Equity Foundation’s (PEF)Community trainings on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR); developed and maintained the PEF’s blog on Community Managed Disaster Risk Reduction (CMDRR) while also acting as communication specialist for the program.

Valle co-edited the coffeetable book of Act for Peace in Mindanao published in 2009; contributed to the WomenWise column of the Mindanao Times Daily in Davao City; wrote for the Union of Catholic Asian News (UCAN); wrote the Mindanao Report on Children’s Rights Implementation for the United Nations Child’s Rights Committee (UNCRC) in August 2008; was media consultant for various international non-government such as the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and other local private organizations doing research, documentation, monitoring of projects and evaluation for over 20 years; did advocacy work for development among grassroots organizations and human rights groups; wrote and published a book entitled The Vision and the Visionaries which detailed the historical developments of the Davao Medical School Foundations and its beginning; monitored and evaluated development projects of non-government organizations including the Media Communications Program of the United Nations Multi-donor Program3 (UNMDP3) all over Mindanao in 2003; and assisted in skills training on basic communication, documentation, research and publications management among different groups including students, professionals and development workers. (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)