All Souls Day:

Families and friends remember the missing

 

Baclaran Church

 

Nov. 2, 2010

 

 

 

■  Video

 

■  KODAO news video

 

    ■   Poems: 

 

   Hundas I, II  and III by Richard Gappi      

 

   Aba Ginoong Noynoy by Pia Montalban

 

 

 

■  Bonus Tracks: Baclaran Redemptorist Church on All Souls Day

 

 

   
   
   
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November 2, 2010
Reference:
Mary Guy Portajada, Secretary General
Lorena P. Santos, Deputy Secretary General
434.2837/0917.541.51.33

Families of desaparecidos remember the missing on All Souls Day

"This is the saddest time of the year," Mary Guy Portajada, Secretary General of Families of the Disappeared for Justice (Desaparecidos) said at the Baclaran Redemptorist Church as their group gather during All Souls' Day.

"We are torn between grieving for a loss of a loved one while still hoping to see them alive one day. Should we light candles and offer prayers and flowers on this day like what the whole nation does for the departed?" These are questions relatives of the disappeared always ask, a manifestation of their continued suffering over their missing love ones.

"We do not go to the cemeteries for the disappeared has no grave, but rather we come here to Baclaran Church to remember the missing," Mary Guy explains. Families of desaparecidos have found a home for their annual gatherings at the said church. Like them, the Catholic Congregation lost Fr. Rudy Romano, a Redemptorist priest who was abducted during the Martial Law years and remains missing to this day.

"We are sincerely grateful that this church remains to be caring for families of the missing as its denomination continues its call for Justice for Fr. Rudy Romano," Portajada says.

Mary Guy's father Armando has been missing for 22 years. She was 12 years old when her father did not arrive at her school to pick her up and walk her home. She realized Armando was abducted by armed men when she came home. Mary Guy, now 32 years is spending every All Souls' Day at the Baclaran church with other families of the disappeared. They usually bring photos of their missing loved ones, offer flowers and light a candle for them.

This year, the group Desaparecidos is staging a short program in between masses to remember the disappeared and at the same time to register their call for justice. As in the movie “Dukot” the group mounted a torture chamber where a dummy is seated blindfolded and handcuffed under a dim light. They say this is to portray how their missing families may have suffered under the custody of government forces.

According to Desaparecidos, so many decades have passed yet enforced disappearances continue in the Philippines. For the group, even under a new regime who promised to uphold human rights,

two cases of enforced disappearances in a span of its first 100 days in office have already been recorded.

"We call on the Philippine legislators, on both houses, to immediately pass the Anti-Enforced Disappearance Bill, and for the Pnoy Government to sign the United Nations’ International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances," Mary Guy says.

As part of their campaign to bring justice for their love ones, the group together with Bayan Muna and other progressive Partylists Representatives filed before Congress in August this year House Bill 3046.

"Today, as the whole nation remembers the lives of those who have departed, we commemorate the missing. We light a candle not for their souls to rest in peace but to shed light on their way home. We offer flowers not because we believe that they are no longer with us but because they are deeply missed by their loved ones," Mary Guy says. She ends by saying, "Stop enforced disappearances! Surface the disappeared! sJustice for all victims!"###
 

     
     
           
     
           
           

 

 

 

Press Statement
November 2, 2010+

In search of the disappeared

The whole Christian community celebrates November 1 and 2 (All Saints Day and All Souls Day) in remembrance of their departed loved ones. This is the time where the whole family come together to offer flowers and prayers and light candles on the tomb of their loved ones.

KATUNGOD – SB – KARAPATAN, the regional alliance for the advancement of people’s rights, has long been commemorating November 3 as the regional day of the disappeared.

Enforced disappearance is termed as the worse case of human rights violation. It puts into uncertainty the family and loved ones of those who become desaparasidos. Families of the disappeared are forever in the dilemma on whether to offer prayers for their loved one or to continue their search, to accept the loss or to find ways to ascertain the whereabouts, to be forever filled with questions whether their loved one is in good condition, being treated humanely, being provided with food, clothing, and shelter, or whether their loved one will still be coming home. This dilemma creates the cruelest form of mental torture known to man.

In the Region, the implementation of Oplan Bantay Laya I and II under the fascist US – Arroyo Regime have left 28 families feeling this mental torture. The alliance have documented 28 cases from 2004 – 2009. These cases includes the abduction of Jacquiline Paguntalan and Rolando Fortaliza in the year 2004, abduction of Narciso Parani, Jovito Velasco, and Patricio Abalos in the year 2005, Gloria Pabillon, Mary Joy Opo, and Romualdo Balbuena in the year 2007, and Ruth Gecaro and Nito Dacles in the year 2009. Majority came from the peasant sector and peasant organizers. They were abducted on reasons that they were suspected and branded as members of the New People’s Army (NPA). Circumstances of these cases lead to the conclusion that these cases were perpetrated of agents of the State. The case of Paguntalan and Fortaliza points to members of the Internal Security Unit (ISU) while the cases of Parani, Velasco, and Abalos points to the participation of members of the military then under the command of Ret. General Jovito Palparan.

On this day, the Regional Alliance calls upon the people of Eastern Visayas to never forget the cases of the desaparasidos, to be vigilant in condemning this acts made by agents of the State, and to show support and to be one with the families of the desaparasidos in their search for their loved ones.

RESURFACE ALL THE DISAPPEARED!

Reference:

Kathrina R. Castillo
Head, Docomentation and Legal Services Committee,
KATUNGOD – SB – KARAPATAN
 

     
     
           
     
     
     

 

Tula ngayong araw: Undas (I, II at III)
ni Richard Gappi


Undas I

Nakatanod sa puntod
ang mga kandila na itinulos
ng mga naulila; ang apoy-liyab
ay hugis ng dila, tahimik na
nagsasalita habang nilalakad
natin at nililingon
ang kalsada't kalyehon
ng kanilang kahapon.
Sa bubungan ng ating mga gunita,
pinupulot natin ang mga naninilaw
at mga lumulutong na larawan,
tulad ng mga natutuyong dahon.
At kapag nahawakan na natin
at natitigan, tinatapik tayo
ng kurot ng ligalig;
patunay na kahit atin
silang binibisita ngayon,
sinasarhan natin,
ayaw patuluyin hanggang maaari,
ang pagdalaw ng kanilang aninong kakambal
sa ating mga kaibigan at mahal sa buhay.
Kaya pinagkakatiwalaan natin sila
na maging tanod tulad ng nakabantay
na kandila sa dibdib ng lupang himlayan:
tinutunaw ng kanilang liyab at liwanag ang dilim.

Undas (II)

Saang puntod magtitirik ng kandila
ang mga mahal sa buhay, kamag-anak
at kaibigan ng mga hinablot ng dilim
at piniringan ang paningin
upang wala silang makita at makapa
kung saan man sila huling dadalhin?
Wala silang pangalan, walang lapida.
At tuwina, taon-taon, laluna na ngayon,
ang kanilang pagkawalay at pagkawala ay sugat
sa diwa at kaluluwa na di naghihilom
ngunit laging nananariwa, parang patak
ng kandila, na nagpapasidhi sa kirot
at sugat ng pagkawala. Kung ang payapang hukay
ang huling hantungan ng nilalang,
ano'ng saklap ng ating maligalig na panahon
dahil sila mismo ay ninakawan nito.
Saan itutulos ang kandila?
Sa patio ng parokya?
Sa komunal na kamposanto?
Sa lansangan ng protesta?
Maaari.
Ngunit mungkahi ko, itarak ito
sa dibdib at puso ng mga nanghahablot sa dilim.
Gawing punyal ang kandila
upang mahiwa ng mga sinag ang nakalambong na gabi
at upang maitambad sa liwanag ng madla
ang kanilang mga mukha at pangalan --
silang nagnanakaw ng pangalan sa mga walang pangalan.

 

 



Undas (III)

Lamesa ang puntod; ang bagong
hilamos at pintura ay puting tela,
sapin sa kaloob na bulaklak,
kanin, softdrinks, at mineral water.
May mga mumo ng kanin na nalaglag
parang nota-himig na nahulog dahil
natabig ng sounds mula sa cd at ispiker.
Samantala, ang tulo ng mantsa
ng adobo ay kasimbilog at lapot
ng esperma ng nauupos na kandila,
katulad ng luha na dati niyang pinalis
sa dalisdis ng kanyang mga pisngi.
Ngayon, magaan ang lapat ng panyo na
bumubura sa mga naligaw na patak ng adobo,
sa tapat ng kanyang kaliwang dibdib
at sa dibdib ng puntod na lamesa.

 

-Richard R. Gappi
11:36AM, Lunes, Nobyembre 1, 2010
Angono, Rizal, Pilipinas

 

 

Neo Roxas, whose fater wa a victim of abduction, torture and salvaging,

recites Hundas II by Richarge Gappi

 

Aba Ginoong Noynoy
by Pia Montalban


Aba Ginoong Noynoy
Sa utang na dugo ika'y lumalangoy
ang Panginoong Imperyalista ay sumasaiyo
Bukod kang pinagpala
ng mga pautang ni Obama
at pinagpala naman
ang iyong patuloy na pangangamkam
ng lupain ng Hacienda Luisita.

Santa Santitong Ama't Ina
Mula sa uring dinidiyos ng bansa
Sumpain nawa ang inyong mga kasalanan
ngayon at sa araw ng paniningil na di na matatagalan,
Amen.

 

           
     
     
     
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Relatives Remember the Disappeared, Urge Government to Enact Law, Ratify Covenant Against Enforced Disappearances
Published on November 3, 2010

“Today, as the whole nation remembers the lives of the departed, we commemorate the missing. We light a candle not for their souls to rest in peace but to shed light on their way home. We offer flowers not because we believe they are no longer with us but because they are deeply missed,” Mary Guy “Ghay” Portajada, daughter of a missing labor leader, said.

By RONALYN V. OLEA
Bulatlat.com
http://www.bulatlat.com/main/2010/11/03/relatives-remember-the-disappeared-urge-government-to-enact-law-ratify-covenant-against-enforced-disappearances/



MANILA – Lydia de Castro, 62, still sheds tears whenever she narrates how her husband Saulo disappeared 22 years ago.

Saulo, then organizer of Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) in Pandacan, was abducted on Oct. 6, 1988 at a public market in Lucena City. He remains missing to this day.

Life has never been easy after Saulo disappeared. Lydia did all kinds of odd jobs just to feed her four children. At 16, her eldest daughter Lorena went to Japan and worked as the lead singer of a band to support her siblings.

Every November 2, Lydia joins other families of the disappeared in a gathering at the Redemptorist Church in Baclaran. Together, they light candles, offer flowers and say prayers for their missing loved ones. The Catholic congregation also lost Fr. Rudy Romano who was abducted 25 years ago and remains missing to this day.

“Where do we light candles and offer flowers? We do not even know if they are still alive,” Romy Ancheta, brother of missing consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Leopoldo Ancheta, said.

Ancheta was reportedly abducted by unidentified men believed to be military intelligence agents on June 24, 2006 in Barangay (village) Tuktukan, Guiguinto town in the province of Bulacan.

“It has been four years since he went missing. People are asking me if I am still hoping that he is still alive. If you were in my shoes, would you not hope?” Romy said in a trembling voice.

Romy said Leopoldo’s youngest daughter celebrated her birthday last August. “There was a party but she was not happy. She still asks about her father.” Leopoldo’s eldest daughter recently gave birth to her first child. “She told me she wished her father is here to see his grandchild,” Romy said.

Meanwhile, Neo Roxas, does not know if he was lucky to have found his father.
Neo’s father Nicasio, then a community organizer in Caloocan, was abducted allegedly by state agents on Nov. 12, 1992. Neo, then only 13 years old, went with his mother to search for his father.

“We went to prisons, hospitals and funeral parlors to find him,” Neo said.
Finally, sometime during the last week of November 1992, they received information that a body was found somewhere in San Juan. Neo, accompanied by relatives of the disappeared, went to recover the body of his father. “I saw all his wounds, the bloated veins due to electrocution, the gunshot wound on his eye, the forcibly removed nails…” Neo recalled.

After his father’s burial, Neo underwent psychotherapy for post-traumatic stress. “I do not know if we were lucky to have found him, that at least, we had some closure unlike the others but the pain and the loss seem the same. Pain is difficult to measure,” Neo said.

At 35, Neo said he still misses how his father used to carry him. “He was a person with a sense of humor. I miss our simple conversations,” Neo said.

Like Neo, Mary Guy “Ghay” Portajada was still young when her father went missing. At 12, Ghay experienced searching for his father Armando Sr., then union president of Coca-Cola company. Armando was abducted by 15 armed men in broad daylight on July 31, 1987.

“Today, as the whole nation remembers the lives of the departed, we commemorate the missing. We light a candle not for their souls to rest in peace but to shed light on their way home. We offer flowers not because we believe they are no longer with us but because they are deeply missed,” Ghay, secretary general of the Desaparecidos, says.

According to Desaparecidos, hundreds have been victims of enforced disappearances since the Marcos dictatorship. Under the new Aquino administration, two have been disappeared.

The group called on Congress to pass the Anti-Enforced Disappearances Bill and the Aquino administration to sign the United Nations International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances. (Bulatlat.com)

 

 

     
     
     
           
     
     
     

 

Two farmers feared abducted by elements of the 36th IBPA in Marihatag, Surigao del Sur, Philippines

submitted on Mon, 10/04/2010 - 13:05

UA case type:
<span>Abduction, Enforced Disappearance</span>
Victim(s):
1. Agustito “Tito” Ladera

* 38 yearsold, male, single, farmer
* A resident of Pinagdayonan, Brgy. Mahaba, Marihatag, Surigao del Sur

2. Renato Deliguer

* 21 yearsold, male, single, farmer
* A resident of Brgy. Pong-on, San Agustin, Surigao del Sur

Place of the incident:
Ladera at Pinagdayonan, Brgy. Mahaba, Marihatag, Surigao del Sur; Pagiwasan, Delaguer at Brgy. Mahaba, Marihatag, Surigao del Sur
Date of the incident:
Ladera on August 28, 2010, Deliguer on September 1, 2010
Alledged perpetrator(s):
<p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: 16px"><b></b></span></span></p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: medium"><b><p>elements of the 36th IBPA</p><div><br /></div></b></span><p>&nbsp;</p>

Inlate August 2010, residents of Brgy. Mahaba were forced to evacuate from theircommunity when soldiers from the 36th IBPA conducted a massivemilitary operation in the area that resulted to a spate of human rightsviolations against civilians after a clash with the New People's Army (NPA).(Refer to UA No: 2010-09-01)

Inthe course of the evacuation, two farmers went missing.

Agustito“Tito” Ladera was last seen by his brother, Geddion, and Glenn Keliste whenthey left him behind in their abaca farm in Sitio Pinagdayonan on 28 August2010 upon learning that

residentswere leaving the community to a safer place. Tito told Geddion and Glenn to goahead because he still had some abaca fibers to dry. Geddion and Glenn left and joined theirfamilies to the evacuation center.

On2 September, some evacuees from Brgy. Mahaba, with the help of local governmentofficials, were allowed to visit their homes in the village to get some oftheir things. Geddion and his fatherwere part of this group. They went tothe farm to fetch Tito but he was not there nor was he outside when theysearched for him. They noticed thatamong their things, a small backpack and some clothes were missing. Hoping that Tito has gone to one of theirrelatives’ house, Geddion and his father went back to the evacuation center andcontinued to search for him.

Meanwhile,on 1 September 2010, Renato Deliguer, who lives with his maternal grandfatherin Brgy. Mahaba, went to Brgy. Pong-on, San Agustin (adjacent town toMarihatag), where his parents are residing, to ask permission from his father,Hipolito, that he was going to harvest some abaca from his farm in Pagiwasan,Brgy. Mahaba. From Brgy. Pong-on, Renatowent home to apprise his grandfather of his plan then he proceeded to Pagiwasan. Since the farm is in the mountainous part ofthe town and is quite far from both his parent's and grandfather's house,family members are used to Renato’s long absences when he visited the farm,sometimes staying in the farm hut for days while gathering abaca.

On8 September, the day the evacuees finally went back to their homes in thecommunities, Hipolito went to his father-in-law's house in Brgy. Mahaba, toinvite Renato to go with him to the farm. It was then that he learned that his son has not come home since the dayhe left for the farm on 1 September. Hipolito decided to check the farm on the 13th of Septemberafter everything has settled down.

Onthat same day, Tito's father went back to their farm in Pinagdayonan, but itwas still empty. Tito was nowhere to befound.

Ataround 10:00 in the morning of 13 September, Hipolito arrived at their farm andfound the hut in total disarray. Therewere plenty of combat boot prints on the ground around the hut. Their water containers and cooking pot withrice were on the ground, with their contents all spilled. When he entered the hut, clothes were strewneverywhere, the sleeping mat was spread out on the floor and the mosquito nethas not been taken down.

Hipolitoquickly tidied the hut and went straight to the house of barangay (village)chairperson Bernandita Abis to report what he discovered. He told her that he suspected the military'sinvolvement with his son's disappearance. Bernandita denied any knowledge of the incident.

Hipolitocame back to Brgy. Mahaba the following day, 14 September, accompanied by LandoGerona, a councilor of Brgy. Pong-on; Jaime Padon and Jake Lacerna who are allRenato's uncles. Bernandita told them togo to the 36th IBPA camp in Brgy.Dayoan in the town of Tago because she received information from a reliable source that there were two men arrested bythe military. Hipolito also received atext

message from his sister-in-law, Emilda Lacerna, thata certain Rene Deliguer was brought by the military to the Philippine NationalPolice (PNP) station in Tandag City.

On that same day, Tito's family heard of thedisappearance of Renato and the information that two men were arrested by thesoldiers of the 36th IBPA. Geddion went to Hipolito to getany information. Hipolito told himabout the two men allegedly arrested by the military and turned over to thepolice. Geddion feared that one of thetwo men was his brother, Tito.

After his talk with Geddion, Hipolito accompanied byEmilda and village chief of Pong-on, Efren Gozon, went to Tandag City PNP. The police showed them the pictures of thetwo men reportedly from Brgy. San Pedro and San Isidro who were turned over tothem by the military earlier thatday. None of them was Renato. They requested to be allowed to see thedetention cell to see for themselves if Renato was not inside, the policedeclined. They were advised to go to the36th IBPA camp in Brgy. Dayoan.

They went straight to the camp, arriving there ataround 2:00 PM. Seven soldiers in civilianclothes took turns in interrogating them. The soldiers insisted that the detainees were not from Brgy. Pong-on andMahaba, and dismissed the group's request for permission to see the saiddetainees. The group left the camp ataround 4:00 PM tired and worried about Renato.

Hipolito went back to Tandag PNP bringing with himRenato's voter's identification card, to show to the police that his son is notan NPA. He became more worried uponlearning from the police that the military came back for the two detainees andthey were not in police custody anymore.

Geddion and Hipolito are now being assisted by theKapunongan sa mga Mag-uuma sa Surigao del Sur (KAMASS) or Farmers' Associationof Surigao del Sur in lobbying with local government units both at themunicipal and provincial levels in their search for Tito and Renato. They were also accompanied by KAMASS leadersto radio stations to appeal to the public for any information about the twodisappeared persons.

Governor Johnny Pimentel and the Provincial Board ofSurigao del Sur requested for a dialogue with the military to take place on 4October to discuss Tito and Renato's disappearance.
Recommended action:

Send letters, emails or faxmessages calling for:

1. The immediate formation of an independent fact-finding and investigation team composed of representatives from human rights groups, the Church, local government, and the Commission on Human Rights that will look into the alleged abduction and enforced disappearance of Agustito Ladera and Renato Deliguer.
2. The military to stop the labeling and targeting of civilians as “members of the New People's Army” and “enemies of the state.”
3. The Philippine Government to withdraw its counterinsurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya (Operation Freedom Watch).
4. The Philippine Government to be reminded that it is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and that it is also a party to all the major Human Rights instruments, thus it is bound to observe all of these instruments’ provisions.

You may send yourcommunications to:

H.E. Benigno C.Aquino III
President of the Republic of thePhilippines
Malacañang Palace,
JP Laurel St., San Miguel
Manila, Philippines
Voice: (+632) 564 1451 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (+632) 564 1451 end_of_the_skype_highlighting to 80
Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968
E-mail: corres@op.gov.ph

Sec. TeresitaQuintos-Deles
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
Office of the Presidential Adviser on thePeace Process (OPAPP)
7th Floor Agustin Building I
Emerald Avenue
Pasig City 1605
Voice:+63 (2) 636 0701 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting +63 (2) 636 0701 end_of_the_skype_highlighting to 066
Fax:+63 (2) 638 2216
E-MailAddress: osec@opapp.gov.ph

Ret. Lt. Gen.Voltaire T. Gazmin
Secretary, Department of National Defense
Room 301 DND Building, Camp EmilioAguinaldo,
E. delos Santos Avenue, Quezon City
Voice:+63(2) 911-9281 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting +63(2) 911-9281 end_of_the_skype_highlighting / 911-0488
Fax:+63(2)911 6213
Email:osnd@philonline.com

Atty. Leila De Lima
Secretary, Department of Justice
Padre Faura St., Manila
Direct Line 521-8344; 5213721
Trunkline 523-84-81 loc.214
Fax: (+632) 521-1614
Email: soj@doj.gov.ph

Hon. Loretta Ann P. Rosales
Chairperson
Commission on HumanRights
SAAC Bldg., UP Complex
Commonwealth Avenue
Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
Voice: (+632) 928-5655 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (+632) 928-5655 end_of_the_skype_highlighting, 926-6188

 

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     

 

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.

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.

“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

 

     
           
     
     
     

 

Pinoy Weekly | Mga Larawan: Tuwing undas, saan magtitirik ng kandila ang kaanak ng desaparecidos?

pinoyweekly.org

Walang puntod o sementeryong maaaring bisitahin -- at hindi pa nga batid kung patay o buhay ang mahal nila sa buhay -- nagtirik ng kandila ang kaanak ng desaparecidos (mga sibilyan at aktibistang dinukot diumano ng mga elemento ng estado at di pa rin natatagpuan) sa larawan ng kanilang mga nawawala,...

 

Download: KARAPATAN monitor, April to June 2010

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
http://www.kodao.org/ Desaparecidos, a human rights organization of the families of victims of enforced disappearances held a solemn program at the Baclaran Church to remember the disappeared and at the same time register their call for justice. Nothing has changed in the human rights situation even under the new Aquino administration which already registered almost 20 victims of state-sponsored extra-judicial killings and 2 cases of enforced disappearances in the first hundred days. Music performed by Jonathan for the play Mrs. B which is about enforced disappearances. http://www.kodao.org/

Remember the missing on All Souls Day (Kodao news video) [HQ]

Length: 5:04

 

 

 

           
           

 

October 1, 2010
 

Mother of missing UP student and torture survivor to tell their story in UK and Europe

Mrs. Concepcion Empeno, mother of missing student Karen Empeno will cross the seas to come to Europe and London to continue the search for her daughter. Formally invited by London based Amnesty International and supported by Campaign for Human Rights in the Philippines-UK (CHRP-UK), Mrs. Empeno together with Raymond Manalo will engage in a series of speaking tours in the Continental Europe and United Kingdom to share their personal experiences and the phenomenon of enforced disappearances in the Philippines.

On June 26, 2006, Karen Empeno was abducted together with a colleague Sherlyn Cadapan and a farmer Manual Merino. Karen is a UP Sociology student volunteering in a local peasant organization in Bulacan.

“As the mother of Karen, my search will take me to any point of the world just to let every person know about my disappeared daughter and to continue to seek for justice,” Mrs. Empeno says. Nanay Connie, as friends of Karen calls her, is currently the Vice Chairperson of Families of the Disappeared for Justice (Desaparecidos).

Raymond Manalo, who was abducted on February 14, 2006 in Dona Remedios Trinidad together with his brother Reynaldo, will tell about their suffering in military detention, his encounter with Karen Empeno, Sherlyn Cadapan and Manuel Merino during their captivity, the killing of Merino and the brothers’ pursuit for an escape.

“The criminal cases I filed in courts against my torturers and abductors are pending for more than two years now. The only weapon I hold right now is my testimony that proves that the military is doing the terror against its people. And I am prepared to share these stories, however disturbing they are, to further expose the Arroyo government’s crimes,” Raymond explains.

“The Aquino government does not seem to listen to the pleas of the families of the disappeared so where else will I go but to other states,” Empeno says. “Through this trip, I will urge the government of the European countries and its people to pressure my government to correctly address the issue of enforced disappearances and put the perpetrators to justice,” Empeno continues.

Empeno and Manalo are set to leave the Philippines a few days before President Aquino’s 100th day in office. “We are disappointed that the new government has not made any concrete action to address the issue of human rights in the Philippines specifically on enforced disappearances. Instead, extra judicial killings and other human rights violations persist and we fear, that with the counter insurgency program of the Aquino regime, enforced disappearances will also continue.” both Empeno and Manalo said. ###

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PUBLIC INFORMATION DESK
publicinfo@karapatan.org
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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
Web: http://www.karapatan.org

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.

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Bonus Tracks

Baclaran Church, mid-morning of All Souls Day 2010

     
     
     
     
 
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
           
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