August 20, 2010
Lorena P. Santos, Deputy Secretary General, Desaparecidos
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Evangeline Hernandez, Convenor, HUSTISYA
Families of victims of human rights violations to P-Noy: How long shall we wait for justice?
On the eve of the 27th Anniversary of the assassination of late Senator Ninoy Aquino, Families of the Disappeared for Justice (Desaparecidos) and Victims of Arroyo United for Justice (Hustisya!) tie a long yellow cloth around Scout Jamboree Circle to signify their continuing search and fight for justice.
As the two groups unveil the yellow cloth, photos of the disappeared and other victims of human rights violations unravel with the long cloth amidst the playing of the song ‘Tie A Yellow. “Like this song by Tony Orlando, we are tying the biggest yellow ribbon to show our missing loved ones that we are still waiting for them to come home,” Lorena P. Santos, deputy Secretary General of Desaparecidos said.
“This is also a reminder to our new government that as he, Pres. Benigno Aquino Jr, commemorates the death of his father, many other Filipinos who fought for democracy were brutally killed by the Arroyo government but are still without justice,” Evangeline Hernandez, Convenor of Hustisya! said.
“The president once said, ‘Ang sinumang nagkamali ay kailangang humarap sa hustisya.’ (Anyone who have done wrong must face justice.) But until when shall we wait for justice?” Santos of Desaparecidos asks. “Our loved ones remain missing and their abductors are still free,” she continues.
“Mid-way through the first one hundred days of President Noynoy’s administration, we are yet to see any concrete steps taken or promised to be taken by this government. We are concerned on how sincere the President is in seeking justice for victims of human rights violations.” Santos says.
The organizations expressed their disapproval on the series of political decisions that P-Noy has made. “First, the President did not mention anywhere in his SONA that he will address the human rights violations done by his predecessor. He goes on by approving the anti-insurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya’s extension until the end of the year; ignoring the fact that this program has been responsible in the killing of thousands and the disappearance of hundreds of Filipinos under the Arroyo Regime.” Santos declared.
“And to add insult to our injury, he appoints Ms. Etta Rosales as Chairperson to the Commission on Human Rights.” Hernandez added, “With nothing much to show for her track record at the House of Representatives and for her insincere and lack of genuine concern to fellow victims of human rights violations under the Marcos Regime who, until now are still fighting to claim justice and indemnification, how can present victims of human rights violations trust her?” She added.
“As we tie the yellow ribbon with the faces of our loved ones who are victims of the past regime, we are reminding the public that we will not let the sacrifices of our missing or killed loved ones be forgotten. Our quest for justice will continue no matter how long it will take.” Mrs. Hernandez concluded. ###