June 26, 2011
Reference: Mary Guy Portajada, Secretary General
Contact Numbers: 09175414133/4342837
Families of the disappeared run, walk to remember Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan
On the fifth year of their disappearance, families, friends, supporters and former classmates and professors of Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño joins the “Run for your Life: This is not a fun run” at the University of the Philippines Diliman today.
“It was Sherlyn’s passion to run,” shared Sherlyn’s mother, Linda Cadapan. “this is a fitting activity to remember her , Karen and all other victims of enforced disappearance.”
Karen Empeño, Sherlyn Cadapan, Manuel Merino, Prudencio Calubid, Celina Palma, Ariel Beloy, Gloria Soco – five years ago today, went missing on what ironically marks the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.
Also participating in the event was Raymond Manalo, a torture victim and main witness to the Cadapan- Empeño abduction. Like the families of the disappeared, Raymond is also seeking for justice.
“Patuloy po akong lalahok sa ganitong mga aktibidad, di lang para sa aking paghahanap ng hustisya, pero para po sa marami pang biktima ng sapilitang pagkawala (I will continue to join activities like this not just for my won search for justice, but for other victims of enforced disappearance) ,“ he said.
It has been five long agonizing years of searching, filing of complaints and petitions for their families, yet they continue the struggle to search and fight for justice.
The recent decision issued by the Supreme Court, ordering Ret. Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan to produce the two university students, has provided a ray of hope for the Cadapan and Empeño families. “The decision strengthened the basis to prosecute Palparan. We now look forward to the hearings which will start on July 8,” Cadapan said.
Karen’s mother Concepcion Empeño is likewise thankful with the Supreme Court decision. “However, the military has only denied for the umpteenth again that our daughters are in their custody. They will only continue weaving lies. What we hope for is for the perpetrators to be prosecuted in court and jailed,”she said.
The mothers also joined hands with other relatives of the victims of disappearance who participated in the event and together swore by each other’s solidarity to firmly keep together until they are given justice.
“We will not stop the fight, our main goal is for Palparan and his co-butchers end up in jail. It may be a long bumpy road towards that end, but we will traverse that road no matter what it takes,” Cadapan said. ###