Noynoy, where is justice?

A query from the relatives and friends of the desaparecidos

on the International Day of the Disappeared

 

Mendiola, Manila

 

August 30, 2010

 

 

■   March to Mendiola

 

■   Video Clips

 

■    Poems by Joi Barrios, Jonna Baldres and Sarah Raymundo

 

■   A partial list with photos of the disappeared

 

■   Bonus Tracks: Faces in black and white

 

■   Davao City

 

 

 

The structure of reactionary violence and human rights violations in the Philippines has several levels, including those of the US, the puppet Manila-based government and the local tyrants like the Ampatuans. The US has been the most culpable for whipping up state terrorism and vigilantism by local tyrants and by army and police commanders under the pretext of combating communists and Muslims who are unjustly labeled as terrorists.

The US is the imperialist master that has dictated upon the Arroyo regime to adopt and implement Oplan Bantay Laya and use the regular armed forces, the police and the paramilitary forces of the Ampatuan type to suppress the national and democratic rights of the people. Along the way, the puppets use their armed power to intimidate and kill their intrasystemic political rivals.

The US has provided the doctrine of warfare against the people and supplied the military equipment and training and other wherewithals of the reign of terror. It has embedded advisors, trainors and operatives within the reactionary armed forces and has deployed its own units in Mindanao and elsewhere to ensure puppet obedience to its imperialist dictates.

Together with the Manila-based puppet government, local tyrants like the Ampatuans and all their military, police and paramilitary minions, the US is culpable and condemnable for pushing state terrorism and the gross and systematic human rights violations and emboldening the human rights violators to commit their crimes with impunity under the pretext of combating terrorism.

 

-- Prof. Jose Maria Sison, The Structure of Reactionary Violence and Human Rights Violations in the Philippines, 27 Nov. 2009
 

   
   
/p

/p
     
     
 
     
     

 

News Release
August 30, 2010
Reference: Lorena Santos, Deputy secretary general 09294414270

Noynoy, where is justice?
Families of desaparecidos march to Mendiola today

Families of desaparecidos called on the Aquino administration to act immediately to surface all victims of enforced disappearances, as they march to Mendiola on the International Day of the Disappeared today.

Led by Desaparecidos (Families of the Disappeared for Justice), families brought masks bearing the faces of the 206 victims disappeared during the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo regime.

Families of desaparecidos called on the Aquino administration to act immediately to surface all victims of enforced disappearances, as they march to Mendiola on the International Day of the Disappeared today.

Desaparecidos deputy secretary general Lorena Santos criticized the continued silence and inaction of the Aquino government on the cases of enforced disappearances.

“How can we truly believe that Pres. Noynoy Aquino is sincere in resolving cases of human rights violatios, if it continues to be silent on the thousands of human rights violations under Arroyo? How can we be at peace if Arroyo and her former minions who were behind extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances are comfortably sitted in the halls of Congress,” Santos said.

A desaparecido in Luisita
“In Aquino’s SONA, he said that his administration has resolved the cases of killings committed under his term. Now that he is president, we challenge him to resolve the case of Intal, who was abducted right inside Hacienda Luisita,” Santos said.

Ronaldo Intal, 24 years old and a youth leader in Hacienda Luisita, was abducted in April 2006 in Brgy. Balete, one of the barangays within the hacienda. According to Santos, Aquino cannot wash his hands clean for the whole duration of his term, and say that it has only been 60 days in office.

In Panay, families and friends of missing Luisa Dominado and Nilo Arado held a protest action to commemorate the International Day of the Disappeared and for their continuing search for justice.

“Does the Aquino government need more than 60 days for it to do any action? Each day that we wait and search for our disappeared relatives, is a life missed and justice denied for the families,” Santos lamented.

Desaparecidos warned against new cases of abduction and enforced disappearances as the AFP extended the implementation of Oplan Bantay Laya, the former administration’s counter-insurgency program where even activists and ordinary civilians were target of killings and enforced disappearances.

“We will not hesitate to hold Aquino accountable if there will be another victim of enforced disappearance as a result of the extension of Oplan Bantay Laya,” Santos

 

--------------------------

 

BALITA
Agosto 30, 2010
SANGGUNIAN: Lorena Santos, Deputy secretary general 09294414270

Noynoy, nasaan ang hustisya?
Mga pamilya ng desaparecidos, nagmartsa sa Mendiola

MULING NAGMARTSA PATUNGONG MENDIOLA ang mga pamilya ng mga biktima ng sapilitang pagkawala ngayong Agosto 30 upang igiit na ilitaw na ang lahat ng mga desaparecidos, o mga “nawawala.”

Kasabay ng paggunita ng buong daigdig sa Pandaigdigang Araw ng mga Nawawala, ipinanawagan ng grupong Desaparecidos ang paglilitaw sa libu-libong biktima ng sapilitang pagkawala mula pa noong panahon ng diktadurang Marcos, kasama ang 206 desaparecidos sa ilalim ni Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Ayon kay Lorena Santos, deputy secretary general ng Desaparecidos, hanggang ngayon ay pipi at walang aksyon ang gobyernong Aquino sa mga kaso ng sapilitang pagkawala.

“Paano kami maniniwalang sinsero nga si Pang. Noynoy Aquino kung patuloy itong nananahimik sa kaso ng desaparecidos, lalo na sa mga biktima sa ilalim ni Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo? Paano kami matatahimik kung ang mga katulad ni Arroyo na nagpatupad ng marahas na patakaran ng pamamaslang at pagdukot sa ilalim ng kanyang termino ay panatag na nakakaupo sa Kongreso?” ani Santos.

Desaparecido sa Luisita

“Sa SONA ni Aquino, sinabi niyang resolbado na ang mga kaso ng pamamaslang sa ilalim ng kanyang termino. Ngayong siya ay pangulo, hinahamon namin siyang resolbahin ang kaso ni Intal, na dinukot mismo sa Hacienda Luisita,” sinabi ni Santos.

Si Ronaldo Intal, 24 anyos at isang lider kabataan sa Hacienda Luisita, ay dinukot noong Abril 2006 sa Brgy. Balete, isa sa mga barangay na sakop ng asyenda. Ani Santos, hindi maaaring habambuhay na lamang maghugas-kamay si Aquino sa iba’t ibang isyu, at sabihing iilang araw pa lamang ang termino nito.

“Maiksi pa ba ang 60 araw para sa gobyernong Aquino na gumawa ng anumang aksyon? Bawat araw na naghihintay ang kaanak ng mga desaparecidos, ay paulit-ulit na ipinagkakait sa aming makapiling ang aming mga mahal sa buhay,” ani Santos.

Nagbabala rin ang grupo sa mga panibagong mga kaso ng pagdukot sa pagpapatuloy ng patakarang Oplan Bantay Laya ng gobyernong Aquino, kung saan sinuman, maging mga aktibista at ordinaryong sibilyan, ay maaaring maging biktima ng pamamaslang at pagdukot.

“Hindi kami mangingiming singilin si Aquino sa sandaling muling magkaroon ng panibagong biktima ng sapilitang pagkawala dahil sa pagpapahintulot nito na magpatuloy ang Oplan Bantay Laya,” panghuli ni Santos. ###
 

     
     
     
           
     
     
           

 

LITANYA NG PAGHAHANAP
(Para sa mga magulang nina Jonas, Karen at Sherlyn

at sa pamilya nina Luisa at Nilo ng Panay)

ni Prof. Joi Barrios-Leblanc

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN)

Hinahanap ko
Siyang nawawala.

Pinagtatagpi ang mga ebidensiya,
Pinagdudugtong ang mga salaysay,
Idinudulog sa hukuman.

Hinahanap ko
Siyang nawawala.

Iwinawaksi ang masamang panaginip:
Ang maliit, madilim na silid,
Ang pagpapahirap at panaghoy
Ang karsel na walang pangalan at lunan.

Hinahanap ko
siyang nawawala.

Kahit di malaman ang simula’t
Hantungan ng paglalayag.
Makipagtawaran kaya sa kapalaran?
Ibalik niyo ang bugbog, laspag na katawan,
Mapaghihilom ang bawat sugat.
Isauli niyo ang baliw ang isipan
Mapanunumbalik ang katinuan.
Ibigay niyo sa akin ang pira-pirasong buto,
Ang gula-gulanit na laman,
At kahit pa, kahit pa,
ang bangkay na di na makilala.

At tatanggapin ng aking puso,
Siyang nawawala
Siyang hinahanap
Siyang minamahal.

Ngunit huwag,
Huwag akalaing ako’y nakikiusap,
Nagmamakaawa, o naninikluhod.
Ang dapat isakdal
Ay silang sa kanya’y dumukot,
Silang nilalaro ang batas sa kanilang palad,
Silang utak ng pandarahas.

Hinahanap ko
Siyang nawawala
At siyang nawawala
Ay naghahanap ng katarungan.

Katarungan!

------------

From the Original Poem in Filipino –

“Litanya ng Paghahanap” by Joi Barrios-Leblanc

of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN)

LITANY OF MY SEARCH
(For the parents of Jonas, Karen and Sherilyn

and the families of Luisa and Nilo of Panay)
English Translation by Ninotchka Rosca, GABNET

I seek out
The vanished.

Piecing together eyewitness tales,
Assembling evidence,
And take my case
To the courts of justice.

I seek out
The disappeared.

Sidestepping nightmares,
Dark, damp rooms of torture
And moans,
Prisons of no name, no address.

I search
For the missing.

Not knowing where the journey starts
Nor where it will end.
The heart haggles with fate:
Hand me the battered body,
Wounds can be healed;
Return the disturbed mind,
Sanity can be restored;
Tender me the broken bones,
The ripped-off flesh,
Even the unrecognizable corpse,

And the heart will welcome
What it has sought,
The disappeared,
The beloved.

Yet do not misconstrue even for a moment
That I ask, or beg for mercy.
Take the abductors to trial,
Those who mock the law,
Masterminds of violence.

I seek the missing,
As the missing seeks justice.

Justice!
 

 

 

Prof. Joi Barrios reciting her poem, "Litantya ng Paghahanap"

 

 

Prof. Joi Barrios with the mothers of the disappeared, Linda Cadapan and Connie Empeño 

 

 

Marching to Mendiola: Prof. Joi Barrios and UP CMC Dean Rolando Tolentino

           
           
     
Gabriela representive Chruch sector representaive
Husband of a Morong 43 detainee CEG{ representative SCM spokesperson
     

 

News Release
August 30, 2010
Reference: Evangeline Hernandez, spokesperson and convenor # 09158562151

Victims of Arroyo regime to P-Noy: Hold the perpetrators accountable now!

In commemoration of the International Day of the Disappeared, families of victims of human rights violations under Arroyo under the banner of Hustisya (Victims of Arroyo Regime United for Justice) marched to Mendiola today.

“We call for the immediate surfacing of the 206 victims of enforced disappearances under Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, at the same time that we call for justice for the 1,206 victims of extrajudicial killings,” said Evangeline Hernandez, spokesperson of Hustisya.

According to the group, Pres. Benigno Simeon Aquino III should immediately hold the perpetrators accountable for extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. Hernandez said that Aquino should immediately answer whether when or how its administration plans to confront the issue of human rights, which he promised before he became president.

“Families of the victims still suffer, because nobody has been brought to justice, but the continued search for their missing relatives makes their suffering double,” Hernandez explained.

Hernandez is mother to Benjaline, a human rights worker who was massacred along with three others in 2002 while in a fact finding mission in Arakan Valley, North Cotabato.

Junk OBL, Aquino told

Hustisya also condemned the most recent killing days before the International Day of the Disappeared.

Casiano Abing, 56 years old, was killed in his home in Balangiga, Eastern Samar on August 27 by a lone gunman. He served as sheriff of the Balangiga Regional Trial Court (RTC), and was a member of partylist Bayan Muna.

“We strongly condemn yet another victim of extrajudicial killing under P-Noy. We ask P-Noy, until when will he be silent on cases of extrajudicial killings, while this bloody policy continues under his term,” asked Hernandez.

The group is worried that extrajudicial killings will continue in many parts of the country because of the Aquino administration’s extension of Oplan Bantay Laya, the former Arroyo regime’s counter insurgency program.

“OBL should be junked immediately. While the military says that the extended OBL will focus on Mindanao, the first victims of extrajudicial killings came from Luzon and Visayas. Until OBL is junked, we fear that the killings will continue. It is like the nightmares of killings under Arroyo will repeat all over again,” Hernandez said. ###

 

 

 Relative of Morong 43 detainees 

A hacienda Luisita farm worker

           
           
     
     
     

 

PRESS RELEASE
August 30, 2010
Reference: Roy Morilla, KMP Public Information Officer (0907-418-0098)

Surface Nilo Arado and other victims of enforced disappearances, urged Aquino

On the International Day of the Disappeared, the militant Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP, Peasant Movement of the Philippines) and Tanggol Magsasaka (Peasant Network for Land, Justice and Human Rights) urged president Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino to surface victims of enforced disappearances such as peasant leader and activists Nilo Arado, Jonas Burgos, Ronald Intal and Manuel Merino. The activists were abducted and still missing perpetrated by believed to be members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) during the Arroyo administration. The group also said that their abductions were in line with the counter-insurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL) which is now being continued by the Aquino government.

"We demand Aquino to act on the surfacing of peasant leaders and activists and protect human rights in the country. If he could not protect the rights of his fellow countrymen, there is no way he could guarantee safety to foreign visitors such as those killed during the Manila hostage crisis on August 23," Antonio Flores, KMP Spokesperson and Tanggol Magsasaka co-convenor said in a press statement.

"The culture of impunity lies within the government forces, thus, it is innate to use violence against helpless civilians, local or foreign. The Aquino government has failed to break this culture as extra-judicial killings and other rights abuses continue," Flores said.

Tanggol Magsasaka said that Nilo Arado was the Secretary-General of PAMANGGAS – Panay (KMP Panay regional chapter) and Jonas Burgos was a trainor of Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Bulacan (AMB, KMP Bulacan provincial chapter) when they were abducted.

Arado was abducted on April 12, 2007, about 9:30pm at Bgy. Cabanban, Oton town in Iloilo when a van plated FVF 463 blocked their path with armed men believed to be agents of the Philippine military. He is missing for 1,236 days to date.

On the same month, the BS Agriculture graduate Jonas Burgos was abducted on April 28, 2007 at a mall in Quezon City. He was forced to aboard a van with plate number TAB 194 which was consequently connected to the 56th Infantry Battalion camp in Bgy. San Mateo, Norzagaray, Bulacan. Burgos was able to scream "aktibista lang ako," thus, many have witnessed his abduction. At present, he is missing for 1,220 days.

In addition, Ronald Intal, a peasant-youth leader in Hacienda Luisita was abducted on April 3, 2006 during the command of Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan on the Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) in Tarlac. Witnesses said that Intal was brought by the military to Aqua Farm at Bgy. Balite, used to be a fishpond which was occupied by the military as a detachment. Intal's family sought the help of Tarlac city vice mayor Teresita Cabal who confirmed that Intal was being held at NOLCOM and guaranteed his release upon the approval of Gen. Palparan. His father said that Gen. Palparan would not release his son as he was waiting for his confirmation of his appointment. Since then, Ronald Intal was never found.

Manuel Merino was the farmer who tried to help Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño when they were being abducted on June 26, 2006 in Hagonoy, Bulacan. Raymond Manalo, a farmer who was abducted in San Ildefonso, Bulacan on February 14, 2006, escaped with his brother and was able to report that they were held incommunicado in different military camps and learned they were brought to a detachment near shore in Zambales. He last saw Manuel Merino when Maj. Gen. Palparan arrived and heard Merino's moaning and saw light from a burning fire.

KMP and Tanggol Magsasaka said that no member of the military has yet to be punished amidst the consistent testimony of a survivor. At present, the Aquino government has yet to act decisively against enforced disappearances, thus, rights abuses continue to victimize activists all over the country. The groups also noted that Aquino's taking seat as president was not accompanied by an act protecting human rights such as the release of political prisoners. It is worsened by the extension of Oplan Bantay Laya, the very counter-insurgency program that transformed the country to a living hell to legal-democratic and unarmed activists and militants.

"The Aquino government showed no hope for human rights in the country. There was no change in state terrorism and fascism, extra-judicial killings, political persecutions and rights abuses continue. Aquino is no agent of human rights but of state violence against activists," said Flores.

The group reported that extra-judicial killings under the Aquino government victimized Pascual Guevarra, the old farmer from Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation in Laur, Nueva Ecija, who for decades are fighting for his rights to land. He was gunned down July 9 at his home. On July 22, Dario Tomada, a former leader of SAGUPA – SB (KMP Eastern Visayas) was arrested, tortured and accused of the "mass graves" in Leyte.

"We demand Aquino to act decisively, not to pamper the military and police who abuse the people. We are particularly calling for the surfacing of victims of enforced disappearances in the country and justice for the victims of rights abuses," Flores called. #
 

     
     
     
           
     
 
     
=          
           
March to Mendiola
==          
     
     
           


THE STRUCTURE OF REACTIONARY VIOLENCE AND HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN THE PHILIPPINES

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson
International League of Peoples’ Struggle
27 November 2009

The International Coordinating Committee and all member-organizations of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle condemn with all their moral conviction and strength the monstrous massacre of at least 57 people, including many women and children, 29 journalists and two human rights lawyers, in Ampatuan, Maguindanao last 23 November 2009.

The abominable crime against humanity was perpetrated by the private army of the Ampatuan ruling clan in collaboration with units of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Army (PA). The private army consists of armed units designated as Civilian Armed Force Geographical Units (CAFGU) and Civilian Volunteers Organization (CVO), subsidized by public funds and operating as auxiliary paramilitary units of the PNP and PA.

The Ampatuans are governors of both Maguindanao and the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM and include a cabinet undersecretary, congressmen and several town mayors . They have maintained their dominant warlord status because they are aligned with the Arroyo regime and have delivered to it large numbers of fraudulent votes in the 2004 and 2007 reactionary elections. Thus, they are allowed to oppress and exploit the people and crush with armed force any opposition.

But it is not enough to see only the relationship of the Arroyo ruling clique and the Ampatuan ruling clan in Maguindanao or even the rotten and violent character of the entire oppressive ruling system in the Philippines. The official designation and government financing of the Ampatuan private army as CVO and CAFGU paramilitary auxiliaries of the PNP and PA are in line with the national internal security plan called Oplan Bantay Laya. This has been designed and directed by the US under its global war of terror policy.

The structure of reactionary violence and human rights violations in the Philippines has several levels, including those of the US, the puppet Manila-based government and the local tyrants like the Ampatuans. The US has been the most culpable for whipping up state terrorism and vigilantism by local tyrants and by army and police commanders under the pretext of combating communists and Muslims who are unjustly labeled as terrorists.

The US is the imperialist master that has dictated upon the Arroyo regime to adopt and implement Oplan Bantay Laya and use the regular armed forces, the police and the paramilitary forces of the Ampatuan type to suppress the national and democratic rights of the people. Along the way, the puppets use their armed power to intimidate and kill their intrasystemic political rivals.

The US has provided the doctrine of warfare against the people and supplied the military equipment and training and other wherewithals of the reign of terror. It has embedded advisors, trainors and operatives within the reactionary armed forces and has deployed its own units in Mindanao and elsewhere to ensure puppet obedience to its imperialist dictates.

Together with the Manila-based puppet government, local tyrants like the Ampatuans and all their military, police and paramilitary minions, the US is culpable and condemnable for pushing state terrorism and the gross and systematic human rights violations and emboldening the human rights violators to commit their crimes with impunity under the pretext of combating terrorism. ###

FURTHER INFORMATION ON THE AMPATUAN MASSACRE

In a land that is familiar to violence by foreign aggressors and local tyrants, the recent massacre of at least 57 people in Ampatuan municipality, Maguindanao Province, Philippines still managed to shock and outrage the Filipino people as well as the rest of the world.

A convoy of journalists, lawyers and women relatives of Esmael Mangudadatu, a local politician contesting the governorship of Maguindanao Province, were en route to file registration papers for the May 2010 elections on the morning of November 23, 2009 when they were abducted and executed by over 100 gunmen. Twenty-four of the victims were women, some of whose bodies were later found mutilated. At least 28 journalists were also killed in the attack which the Reporters without Borders described as the worst loss of life in the history of journalism.

The perpetrators were allegedly led by Andal Ampatuan Jr., the Mayor of a nearby town and son of the incumbent Governor of Maguindanao, who was being groomed to take over his father’s position. He was assisted by senior police officials, local police and paramilitary forces who function as a private army of the Ampatuan clan. A backhoe registered to the provincial government was even on hand to bury the victims in pre-dug common graves.

Clearly the Ampatuans consider themselves untouchable because of their loyal ties to the incumbent President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo who has deliberately created a climate of impunity for human rights violators and mass murderers in the Philippines. Since her ascent to power in 2001, over 800 extra-judicial killings have been committed in the country, including 51 incidents of massacres victimizing a total of 255 persons. Not one has been punished for these vilest of crimes.

In the case of the Ampatuan massacre, it took four days before the principal suspect was taken into custody and only after intense public outcry for justice. The Arroyo government’s initial response was to declare a state of emergency in the province which would be enforced, of course, by the local state apparatus controlled by the Ampatuans.

The Ampatuan clan is a prime example of feudal-fascist warlords who are coddled and nurtured by the national ruling clique in order to secure their hold over local populations and resources. The Ampatuans are among the most loyal vassals of the Arroyo ruling clique and responsible for orchestrating the electoral fraud in the region through which Arroyo has kept herself in power.

It was Arroyo who gave the Ampatuan clan the authority to recruit and arm civilians to assist in fighting “insurgents” in the region. As a result, the Ampatuans now have a 500-strong army, which includes 200 special armed civilian auxiliary forces, as well as entire regular military and police units assigned to ensure the security of the clan members.

These local warlords and their “armies”, particularly in Mindanao, are not only interwoven with the national security apparatus of the ruling classes, they are also backed by the US imperialist state which has a special interest in Mindanao. The US military considers Mindanao strategic for its force projection in this part of the world. It maintains military facilities in the island in direct violation of the Philippine Constitution. It has conducted at least seven military exercises in Mindanao since 2001, poured millions of military aid and has trained local security forces to enhance “inter-operability” with US troops.

The USAID has funded tens of millions of dollars worth of infrastructure projects throughout the region to support US military operations and US investors in the regiTo accomplish their objective of securing strategic resources, facilities and suppressing revolutionary and democratic challenges to US interests in the region, the US necessarily works with the local state apparatus and allies with feudal-fascist rulers such as the Ampatuans.

Given the intimate ties of the Ampatuans and other fascist criminals with the US-Arroyo regime, there is no reason to expect that any fact-finding body or investigation initiated by the corrupt, oppressive and brutal government will be credible or will bring justice to the victims of massacres and other human rights violations in the Philippines.

The ILPS calls on all freedom-loving peoples of the world to denounce the Ampatuan Massacre and all other extra-judicial killings in the Philippines, to demand an independent probe of these killings; and condemn the Arroyo government for coddling mass murderers and human rights violators.

Stop the killings!
End impunity!
Justice now!

 

------------------------------------------------


The readers of Arkibong Bayan are invited to click: http://www.josemariasison.org/  This is the authorized website of Prof. Jose Maria Sison.  It has been recently restructured and improved by its editors.  Thank you for your attention.

     
     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     

 

 

ISMAYL (Para kay Keren)

(Ngiti)

by Jonna Baldres

Tinitingnan ko ang larawan mo,
ang larawang nalimbag sa mga pahayagan
nitong nakaraang isang taon at limang buwan
nang ikaw at mga kasama’y nawawala.

Nakangiti ka.
Walang bakas ng paghihirap,
paghihirap na dinanas sa kamay
ng mga hayop na mapagsamantala.

Narinig ko ang balita.
Ginahasa raw nila kayo, pinahirapan.
At ngayo’y huwag na raw kayong hanapin pa
sapagkat kasama ng magsasakang kanilang niliyaban,
ikaw raw ay hindi na makikita pa.

Marahil kahit ang isang tanga
ay maiintindihang ito’y pananakot lamang,
na akala’y sa kanilang babala ay magpapadala
at ang aming paghahanap ay ititigil nang tuluyan.

Hindi tayong tulad nila,
na noon pa ma’y buong loob at kusang binitawan
ang dangal at kalayaan sa pagsunod
sa utos ng berdugo’t diktador.

Hindi namin titigilan ang paghahanap.
Hindi lamang sa inyo,
kundi para sa hustisyang
kailanma’y hindi naibigay sa inyo.

Mananatili ang larawan mong nakalimbag,
hindi lamang sa mga pahayagan.
Nakaukit ito sa isipang kung saan ang ngiti mo’y
hindi lamang simpleng pagbuka ng mga labi.

Ang ngiti mo’y mapagpalaya.
Ngiting sa mga magsasakang inaapi
ay naghatid ng pag-asa’t pagkamulat.


Tinitingnan ko ang larawan mo.
Nakangiti ka.
At iyon ang mananatili sa isipan ko.

30 Nobyembre 2007
New York, USA

 

 

]

 

 

Baril, Baraha, Biktima  (oil paint on canvas)  2007

 

 

Human Kinetics
by Sarah Raymundo

on Sunday, August 29, 2010 at 8:08pm
(for Sherlyn Cadapan*)


I picture you swiftly
running around
the track reserved for athletes:
sprinting soles spiking tired
carabao grass.

Like those childhood dragonflies
that eluded chasing
they say you didn’t want to be
bothered while you do this.
Not for lunch, not for a radical chit-chat,
not for a high-five.

My lover says you were in his class.
How was she like?
He does not remember
a time when you weren’t disappeared.
It’s what keeps him still,
hopeful and with context.

Your mother believes
you did a Houdini.
And that great escape keeps you
roaming invisibly in regions
only she can map with gut-feel,
with hope and in desperation.
You are now her legendary Amazon.

Did I mention running this morning?
Sometimes when I put on
my running shades, I utter “Cadapan”
as I face the mirror with a triumphant smile.
Sometimes I think of going beyond
the awkwardness of being in a shirt
draped with warm sweat and tears.

You were there, your presence ablaze
amidst a crowd of bewildered shoppers
and striking workers.
The mall entrance staged
your very own dance steps
to the tune of Henry Sy's loud music
that meant to drown
the megaphone which owned up
to your smoking agit-prop.
I still come to SM Cubao, Sherlyn.
And I don’t always remember you when I do.

I still come to mass demonstrations
to picketlines, to Mendiola, to Liwasan.
And not for the way we were.
But to claim time,
to claim history.
A miracle does not happen
when we revolt.
Only us.

========================
 


* August 30 is the International Day of the Disappeared. Sherlyn Cadapan was disappeared on June 26, 2006. She was abducted with Karen Empeno by military elements in Hagonoy Bulacan. Both of them ARE students of the University of the Philippines-Diliman who struggled for a mass oriented, scientific and nationalist education by working for and with the farmers in Bulacan. Sherlyn was the College of Human Kinetics Representative to the University Student Council. We were with the political party STA ND-UP during our college days. Sherlyn was two months pregnant at the time of her abduction. Raymond Manalo in his sworn affidavit testifies to the torture and abuse that Sherlyn went through while in the hands of the military.

 

           
     
     

 

PRESS RELEASE
August 30, 2010
Reference: Roy Morilla, KMP Public Information Officer (0907-418-0098)

Surface Nilo Arado and other victims of enforced disappearances, urged Aquino

On the International Day of the Disappeared, the militant Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP, Peasant Movement of the Philippines) and Tanggol Magsasaka (Peasant Network for Land, Justice and Human Rights) urged president Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino to surface victims of enforced disappearances such as peasant leader and activists Nilo Arado, Jonas Burgos, Ronald Intal and Manuel Merino. The activists were abducted and still missing perpetrated by believed to be members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) during the Arroyo administration. The group also said that their abductions were in line with the counter-insurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL) which is now being continued by the Aquino government.

"We demand Aquino to act on the surfacing of peasant leaders and activists and protect human rights in the country. If he could not protect the rights of his fellow countrymen, there is no way he could guarantee safety to foreign visitors such as those killed during the Manila hostage crisis on August 23," Antonio Flores, KMP Spokesperson and Tanggol Magsasaka co-convenor said in a press statement.

"The culture of impunity lies within the government forces, thus, it is innate to use violence against helpless civilians, local or foreign. The Aquino government has failed to break this culture as extra-judicial killings and other rights abuses continue," Flores said.

Tanggol Magsasaka said that Nilo Arado was the Secretary-General of PAMANGGAS – Panay (KMP Panay regional chapter) and Jonas Burgos was a trainor of Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Bulacan (AMB, KMP Bulacan provincial chapter) when they were abducted.

Arado was abducted on April 12, 2007, about 9:30pm at Bgy. Cabanban, Oton town in Iloilo when a van plated FVF 463 blocked their path with armed men believed to be agents of the Philippine military. He is missing for 1,236 days to date.

On the same month, the BS Agriculture graduate Jonas Burgos was abducted on April 28, 2007 at a mall in Quezon City. He was forced to aboard a van with plate number TAB 194 which was consequently connected to the 56th Infantry Battalion camp in Bgy. San Mateo, Norzagaray, Bulacan. Burgos was able to scream "aktibista lang ako," thus, many have witnessed his abduction. At present, he is missing for 1,220 days.

In addition, Ronald Intal, a peasant-youth leader in Hacienda Luisita was abducted on April 3, 2006 during the command of Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan on the Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) in Tarlac. Witnesses said that Intal was brought by the military to Aqua Farm at Bgy. Balite, used to be a fishpond which was occupied by the military as a detachment. Intal's family sought the help of Tarlac city vice mayor Teresita Cabal who confirmed that Intal was being held at NOLCOM and guaranteed his release upon the approval of Gen. Palparan. His father said that Gen. Palparan would not release his son as he was waiting for his confirmation of his appointment. Since then, Ronald Intal was never found.

Manuel Merino was the farmer who tried to help Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño when they were being abducted on June 26, 2006 in Hagonoy, Bulacan. Raymond Manalo, a farmer who was abducted in San Ildefonso, Bulacan on February 14, 2006, escaped with his brother and was able to report that they were held incommunicado in different military camps and learned they were brought to a detachment near shore in Zambales. He last saw Manuel Merino when Maj. Gen. Palparan arrived and heard Merino's moaning and saw light from a burning fire.

KMP and Tanggol Magsasaka said that no member of the military has yet to be punished amidst the consistent testimony of a survivor. At present, the Aquino government has yet to act decisively against enforced disappearances, thus, rights abuses continue to victimize activists all over the country. The groups also noted that Aquino's taking seat as president was not accompanied by an act protecting human rights such as the release of political prisoners. It is worsened by the extension of Oplan Bantay Laya, the very counter-insurgency program that transformed the country to a living hell to legal-democratic and unarmed activists and militants.

"The Aquino government showed no hope for human rights in the country. There was no change in state terrorism and fascism, extra-judicial killings, political persecutions and rights abuses continue. Aquino is no agent of human rights but of state violence against activists," said Flores.

The group reported that extra-judicial killings under the Aquino government victimized Pascual Guevarra, the old farmer from Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation in Laur, Nueva Ecija, who for decades are fighting for his rights to land. He was gunned down July 9 at his home. On July 22, Dario Tomada, a former leader of SAGUPA – SB (KMP Eastern Visayas) was arrested, tortured and accused of the "mass graves" in Leyte.

"We demand Aquino to act decisively, not to pamper the military and police who abuse the people. We are particularly calling for the surfacing of victims of enforced disappearances in the country and justice for the victims of rights abuses," Flores called. #

     
     
     
           
     
     
     
     
           

Video Clips

     

Karapatan condemns continuing rights violations,  calls for an end to OBL


The human rights alliance Karapatan condemns the brazen attack against Fr. Jose Francisco Talaban, whose convent was strafed by several armed men last June 26 in Casiguran, Aurora, and the continuing human rights violations spurred by the military’s extended counter-insurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya.


Speaking at today’s press conference on the report of the Ecumenical Solidarity Mission which was conducted on August 24 to 28, Karapatan Deputy Secretary General Jigs Clamor expressed alarm over the Mission’s findings which shows a characteristic pattern of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in its counter-insurgency campaign. 


“Karapatan has documented a number of cases wherein the victims are vilified as members or sympathizers of armed revolutionary groups, such as the New People’s Army; harassed and intimidated by state security forces, prior to graver human rights violations,” Clamor deplored.  


He also added that these victims are human rights defenders themselves, opposing projects and activities that are detrimental to the lives and livelihood of community members. “Father Talaban staunchly opposed the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport (APECO), a government project which will displace 3,000 residents in Casiguran, Aurora,” said Clamor. “Those who oppose the project became victims of a vilification campaign designed to instill fear into the members of the community and to force them to cower in silence. Often, the individual is either forcibly disappeared or killed as a result.”


Clamor also said that time and again, the AFP remains in a state of denial of the violations committed against human rights. “It is also deplorable that the Oplan Bantay Laya counter-insurgency campaign, the reason behind more than a thousand victims of extrajudicial killings, is still enforced under the administration of Pres. Benigno Aquino III, and still continues to take the lives of innocent civilians.”


On August 25, another Bayan Muna member was shot and killed at his home in Balangiga, Eastern Samar. Casiano Abing, who was also a Regional Trial Court sheriff in Balangiga, actively campaigned for Bayan Muna in this year’s elections. He is the 6th activist killed under Noynoy Aquino’s administration.


Karapatan condemns the continuing spate of killings and called on Pres. Aquino to rescind OBL, and punish the perpetrators and to render justice for all victims of human rights violations. ###


 

Reference: Jigs Clamor, Deputy Secretary General  (Mobile No: 0929-862-1076)


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PUBLIC INFORMATION DESK
publicinfo@karapatan.org 
---------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Alliance for the Advancement of People's Rights

2nd Flr. Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin corner Matatag Sts., Central District

Diliman, Quezon City, PHILIPPINES 1101

Telefax: (+63 2) 4354146


KARAPATAN is an alliance of human rights organizations and programs, human rights desks and committees of people’s organizations, and individual advocates committed to the defense and promotion of people’s rights and civil liberties.  It monitors and documents cases of human rights violations, assists and defends victims and conducts education, training and campaign.  It was established in 1995.

 

Download Fact Sheet PDF file

 

 
   

News Release -- August 30, 2010


 

Victims of Arroyo regime to P-Noy: Hold the perpetrators accountable now!


 

In commemoration of the International Day of the Disappeared, families of victims of human rights violations under Arroyo under the banner of Hustisya (Victims of Arroyo Regime United for Justice) marched to Mendiola today. 


 

“We call for the immediate surfacing of the 206 victims of enforced disappearances under Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, at the same time that we call for justice for the 1,206 victims of extrajudicial killings,” said Evangeline Hernandez, spokesperson of Hustisya. 


 

According to the group, Pres. Benigno Simeon Aquino III should immediately hold the perpetrators accountable for extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. Hernandez said that Aquino should immediately answer whether when or how its administration plans to confront the issue of human rights, which he promised before he became president. 


 

“Families of the victims still suffer, because nobody has been brought to justice, but the continued search for their missing relatives makes their suffering double,” Hernandez  explained. 

 

Hernandez is mother to Benjaline, a human rights worker who was massacred along with three others in 2002 while in a fact finding mission in Arakan Valley, North Cotabato.  


 

Junk OBL, Aquino told


 

Hustisya also condemned the most recent killing days before the International Day of the Disappeared. 


 

Casiano Abing, 56 years old, was killed in his home in Balangiga, Eastern Samar on August 27 by a lone gunman. He served as sheriff of the Balangiga Regional Trial Court (RTC), and was a member of partylist Bayan Muna. 


 

“We strongly condemn yet another victim of extrajudicial killing under P-Noy. We ask P-Noy, until when will he be silent on cases of extrajudicial killings, while this bloody policy continues under his term,” asked Hernandez.


 

The group is worried that extrajudicial killings will continue in many parts of the country because of the Aquino administration’s extension of Oplan Bantay Laya, the former Arroyo regime’s counter insurgency program. 


 

“OBL should be junked immediately. While the military says that the extended OBL will focus on Mindanao, the first victims of extrajudicial killings came from Luzon and Visayas. Until OBL is junked, we fear that the killings will continue. It is like the nightmares of killings under Arroyo will repeat all over again,” Hernandez said. ### 


 


 

---------------------------------------------------------------------
PUBLIC INFORMATION DESK
publicinfo@karapatan.org 
---------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Alliance for the Advancement of People's Rights

2nd Flr. Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin corner Matatag Sts., Central District

Diliman, Quezon City, PHILIPPINES 1101

Telefax: (+63 2) 4354146


KARAPATAN is an alliance of human rights organizations and programs, human rights desks and committees of people’s organizations, and individual advocates committed to the defense and promotion of people’s rights and civil liberties.  It monitors and documents cases of human rights violations, assists and defends victims and conducts education, training and campaign.  It was established in 1995.

--
KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People's Rights
 

 
 
   

 

Statement by United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances
 

Geneva (30 August 2010) -- Today the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances commemorates the International Day of the Disappeared. All over the world, events have been organized by the families and associations of victims to remember those that have suffered the terrible fate of being disappeared. Yet, the Working Group believes that this day ought to be commemorated by all. It is gratified that the Human Rights Council has accepted the recommendation of the Working Group that 30 August be proclaimed the International Day of the Disappeared. The Working Group supports the call by the Human Rights Council for the United Nations General Assembly to recognize this day annually. This would put a further spotlight on these heinous acts.

 

Thirty years after the Working Group’s establishment, which will be commemorated at an event to take place in Geneva on 5 November this year, it condemns the fact that enforced disappearances continue to occur all over the world. The Working Group reiterates its solidarity with victims, their families and others who work on the issue. It pays tribute to the many relatives of victims, human rights defenders, non-governmental organizations, lawyers and other individuals and groups who work untiringly and often in difficult circumstances to denounce cases of enforced disappearance, discover the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared, and work to eradicate this terrible practice. It invites all Governments to support the efforts of those working on enforced disappearances and to take all available measures to protect them

 and others, including witnesses to these crimes.

 

To end the practice of enforced disappearances States should continue promoting and giving full effect to the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. Defining enforced disappearance as a separate and autonomous criminal offence and bringing domestic legislation in conformity with the Declaration would significantly contribute to the prevention and eradication of this odious practice. The Working Group stands ready to assist states in their endeavors to give full effect to the Declaration.

 

The work of the Working Group is dependent on the cooperation of Governments. The role of states in investigating cases of enforced disappearances is essential to determining the fate or whereabouts of disappeared persons. The Working Group therefore calls upon Governments to fully cooperate with the Working Group and take all possible measures to address cases of enforced disappearances regardless of when the disappearance occurred, who the victims were or who the perpetrators are.

 

States should bring all those responsible for these crimes to justice; refrain from any act of intimidation or reprisals against those persons who contribute to the eradication of this crime; and fight impunity wherever it exists.

 

The Working Group is pleased to note that recently in a number of countries more has been done to investigate disappearances. It is also gratified that in various states there have been convictions for those who have perpetrated enforced disappearances and that in some cases reparations have been paid to victims or their families. More, however ought to be done to prosecute offenders, provide integral reparations to victims and family members, and to preserve memory.

 

The Working Group recalls that, as noted in its recently released General Comment on the Right to the Truth in Relation to Enforced Disappearances, the right to the truth entails the right to know about the progress and results of an investigation, the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared persons, the circumstances of the disappearance, and the identity of the perpetrator(s). The Working Group emphasizes that the right to the truth should be enjoyed by all the victims of enforced disappearances as well as others affected by enforced disappearances. Reconciliation between the State and victims of enforced disappearances and/or their families cannot happen without the clarification of each individual case.

 

The Working Group is gratified that, as of 30 August 2010, 83 States have signed and 19 States have ratified the International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance. The ratification or accession of only one more State party is required before the Convention enters into force. The implementation of the Convention, and the coming into being of the Committee on Enforced Disappearance, will strengthen States’ capacities to reduce the number of disappearances and will help realize the demands of victims and their families for justice and truth. The Working Group urges States that have not yet signed and/or ratified the Convention to do so as soon as possible. It also calls upon States to accept the competence of the Committee on Enforced Disappearances to receive and consider communications from or on behalf of individuals under article 31 and the inter-State complaint mechanism under article 32 of the Convention.

 

ENDS

The Working Group was established by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in 1980 to assist families in determining the fate or whereabouts of disappeared relatives. The Working Group endeavours to establish a channel of communication between the families and the Governments concerned, to ensure that individual cases are investigated, with the objective of clarifying the whereabouts of persons who, having disappeared, are placed outside the protection of the law. In view of the Working Group's humanitarian mandate, clarification occurs when the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person is clearly established. The Working Group continues to address cases of disappearances until they are resolved.


The Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances is comprised of five independent experts from all regions of the world. The Chair-Rapporteur is Mr. Jeremy Sarkin (South Africa), and the other Expert-Members are Mr. Ariel Dulitzky (Argentina), Ms. Jasminka Dzumhur (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Mr. Olivier de Frouville (France) and Mr. Osman El-Hajjé (Lebanon).

For more information on the WGEID, please visit: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/disappear/index.htm

Fact sheet no. 6 on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances available in Arabic, Chinese, French, English Russian and Spanish at:
http://www.ohchr.org/EN/PublicationsResources/Pages/FactSheets.aspx

Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/disappearance.htm

For further details: Allegra Franchetti, Secretary Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, Special Procedures Branch, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Tel.: +41 (0) 22 917 9340, Email: afranchetti@ohchr.org

 

 
 
           

newsinfo.inquirer.net

MANILA, PhilippinesThe International Day of the Disappeared Monday brought no relief to the loved ones of missing activists, students and farmers, according to the militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan).

 

www.gmanews.tv

An unidentified gunman shot dead an activist and court sheriff in Balangiga town in Eastern Samar province, in what seems to be another extrajudicial killing under the Aquino administration.

 

           

Victims of Enforced Disappearances: Desaparecidos

A partial list

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In Davao City

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  Fe Salino (sec.gen. of SELDA-SMR)  
     

DAVAO CITY - Candlelighting Activity led by HUSTISYA-SMR during the commemoration of International Day of the Disappeared last Aug.30,2010.


Hustisya has documented 13 victims of Enforced Disappearance during GMA's regime.


 

 

Bayan Intise (spokesperson of HUSTISYA-SMR); his parents Federico and Nelly Intise are still missing up to this date since 2006.

   
           

 

BONUS TRACKS

 Faces in Black and White

From the Facebook photo album  of UP CMC Dean Rolando Tolentino

 

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