September 6, 2010
Lorena P. Santos, Deputy Secretary General
Families of desaparecidos joins Bayan Muna in filing
Anti-enforced Disappearance Bill at House of Representatives
Families of the Disappeared for Justice (Desaparecidos) earlier today joined Bayan Muna Partylist as it filed a bill entitled “An Act Defining and Penalizing the Crime of Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance” at the House of Representatives.
Aside from Congressmen Neri J. Colmenares and Teodoro A. Casiño of Bayan Muna Partylist other Representatives from Gabriela Women’s Party, Anakpawis, Kabataan Partylist and ACT Teachers Partylist authored the said bill.
“It is high time that this bill be enacted into law,” Lorena Santos, Deputy Secretary General of Families of the Disappeared for Justice said. “If it finally becomes one, this bill will be a step closer to the justice that we have been pursuing for so long,” Santos said.
“It is such a shame that this country still has no law that penalizes one of the most terrible human rights violation.” Santos said “Thousands of Filipinos have been victims of enforced disappearances since the rule of Marcos up to the regime of Gloria Arroyo, and today not one of the perpetrators have been punished nor put to jail,” Santos adds.
For the families of the Disappeared, they know that there are so many things that need to be done to gain justice and urged President Aquino to stop ignoring their calls for him to act now.
“We are asking PNoy to prioritize this bill and with the help of the new Chairperson of the Committee of Justice and Human Rights. Cong. Rene Relampagos (Bohol), expedite the process it will undergo at the House of Representatives,” Santos states.
At the same time, the human rights group calls on the Aquino government to finally ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances.
Since day one of President Aquino’s presidency, families of the disappeared have been calling his attention to prioritize the serving of justice to victims of enforced disappearances and other human rights violations, but it is disappointed over the new President’s continuing inaction. However, the human rights group said it will not stop from urging the President to heed their call for justice.
The group was led by of Ms. Linda Cadapan, mother of missing UP student Sherlyn Cadapan who was disappeared together with another student Karen Empeno. Kins of missing National Democratic Front of the Philippines consultants are also present at the filing. ###