Families of Desaparecidos for Justice (Desaparecidos) today called on the public to be vigilant as the Department of Justice and the Office of the Ombudsman called for patience “as the quest for justice should not be done at the expense of due process” in the prosecution of persons involved in the pork barrel scam.
“Let this not be another case of delayed justice,” said Lorena ‘Aya’ Santos, secretary general of the Desaparecidos, as “we heard this line before and it ended up with Gen. Jovito Palparan free and, outside of jail.”
“The families of desaparecidos are witnesses to the government’s warped sense of due process, which is essentially injustice to us, victims of rights violations. As we endlessly search for our missing family members, it breaks our hearts to see the perpetrators continue to be, or are promoted, in high government and military positions because the government continues to invoke its brand of due process,” said Santos.
Families of the disappeared, specifically the families of Jonas Burgos, Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno, have taken on the task to file charges against the perpetrators of the abduction and disappearance of their family members.
“Sadly but expectedly, the court hearings of these cases are moving so slow, and have been going off and on for years now, testing our resolve and energies,” added Santos.
Santos cited the case filed by Oscar Leuterio, a security guard and, Raymond Manalo, a farmer on November 2006 and September 2008, respectively, against Gen. Jovito Palparan, et al for kidnapping, arbitrary detention, physical injuries, threats, and involuntary servitude, among others.
The case was revived in 2011 when the current Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales was appointed by Pres. Aquino “with the hope that the cases will be acted on immediately,” said Santos, “but the Ombudsman, who today asked the Filipino people for patience, continue to sit on the case.”
“Due process should serve justice and should not be used by the ruling few and their cohorts as a convenient excuse to delay the process of prosecution of plunders and human rights violators alike,” concluded Santos. ###
Reference: Lorena “Aya” Santos, Secretary General, Desaparecidos 09222962260