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

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 ended. ###

Relatives of desaparecidos offer liturgical service for the victims of enforced disappearance.

Photos from:
Maywan Posa-Dominado
and
Sarah Raymundo

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