Philippines: Facebook Photos Removed to Mark International Day of the Disappeared

Karlo Mikhail Mongaya | Global Voices

Facebook users in the Philippines removed their profile pictures last August 30 to demand justice for the victims of enforced disappearances.

The online campaign was in line with the International Day of the Disappeared and at the same time to express solidarity to the relatives and friends of the disappeared.

It’s also a political action to remember the 40th anniversary of the imposition of Martial Law in the Philippines by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos this September 21. Among the campaign’s objectives are the following:

– Remember the open tyrranical rule and the grave human rights violations during the Marcos years
– Reflect and study the prevailing climate of impunity and the pervasive rights abuses under the Oplan Bayanihan of the current Aquino administration
– Resist all forms of curtailment of human rights and pursue justice for the victims and their kin.

The online action is initiated by the human rights alliance, KARAPATAN, and the organizations of the families of the victims of enforced disappearances, DESAPARECIDOS.

Human rights advocates, the families and friends of the victims of various rights abuses, and various people’s organizations held protest actions in Manila and other major cities in the country.

They decried the mounting cases of human rights violations, with over 11 victims of disappearances documented since President Noynoy Aquino began his term in 2010.

Jay Cuesta asks Facebook friends to remove their profile photos to support the campaign for justice and human rights:

Dear friends and colleagues,

Please take down your profile picture on August 30, Thursday, in solidarity with the friends and family of the missing, from the Martial Law days up to the present, who continue to seek justice. It also signifies our being one with the call to immediately pass the Anti-Enforced Disappearance Bill. August 30 is the International Day of the Disappeared.

Here are some of the images used by Filipino netizens to show support to the campaign apart from the typical blank Facebook profile picture:

Photo from Louie Arches Posa

Judy Taguiwalo updated her profile photo with a list of some of the ‘disappeared’ activists

FB profile of Ron Magbuhos

FB profile photo of Jay Cuesta

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