Families of desaparecidos trooped the Aquino residence at Times St. today, bringing with them photos and names of their disappeared loved ones, including 12 victims under his watch.
“These are the missing under your administration, Mr. President. Is this the record you want to speak of?” said Lorena Santos, deputy secretary general of Desaparecidos.
The group is holding their 3rd National Assembly in Manila, with relatives of desaparecidos coming from different provinces and regions.
“While we do not want our ranks to increase in number, more families come to seek justice, including those abducted and disappeared under Aquino. This government has not made our search for justice easier, it perpetuates the cruel act of disappearance to more families every day,” Santos exclaimed.
Formed in 1995 primarily by families of desaparecidos under the Marcos and Aquino administrations, Desaparecidos now has majority of members whose relatives were disappeared under the Arroyo administration.
“Nothing can compare to the agony of a family of a desaparecido in our seemingly endless search for our loved ones. The Aquino government should not dare insult nor mock us with such kind of statements, as if they have done anything,” Santos said.
Concepcion Empeño, vice chairperson of Desaparecidos and mother of missing UP student Karen, said they only want the act of enforced disappearance to cease.
“While we have risked our lives for justice since day one, we want these atrocious acts to end now. At the same time, we urge Pres. Aquino to immediately sign the anti-enforced disappearance bill,” Empeño said.
Empeño is co-complaint to the kidnapping case against Palparan and three other military officials involved in the disappearance of her daughter and fellow UP student SherlynCadapan.
According to Santos, the Aquino government is “all bark and no bite” on the case of Palparan, which has allowed the arrogance of the latter to file motionsbefore the Court of Appeals to halt the prosecution against him while evading arrest.
“Surface! Surface all the disappeared especially under your government!” the group yelled at the same time continued to challenge Pres. Aquino to arrest and punish military perpetrators of disappearances like Palparan. ###
Reference: Lorena Santos Desaparecidos deputy secretary general 0917-5230096