“Not in our name,” families of desaparecidos tell BS Aquino

News Release
29 August 2014 


P125.46 M DAP funds for victims’ kin

“Not in our name,” families of desaparecidos tell BS Aquino

“Not in our name,” rights group Desaparecidos’ (Families of the Disappeared for Justice) told Pres.Benigno Aquino, on funds allegedly given to families of victims of enforced disappearances through the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

In the “Detailed List of DAP Projects” released by the Department of Budget and Management on July 30, a total of P125,460,000 was reportedly given as “assistance” to victims of involuntary or enforced disappearances and their families between July 13 to December 28, 2012.

“In a short span of six months, Pres. Aquino was able to release millions of pesos in the name of the victims. We continue to endure the long years of search, while the desaparecidos remain missing. Enforced disappearances continue, while the Aquino government has not made a single person accountable for one of the worst forms of human rights violations. Sinusuhulan mo ba kami para manahimik, Pang. Aquino? (Are you bribing us to shut up, Pres. Aquino?),” said Santos.

The said amount was released through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) under the description “Protective Services for individuals and families in especially difficult circumstances including P10 million assistance to victims of involuntary disappearance and their families upon coordination with the Families of Involuntary Disappearance (FIND).” 

“Pati pagdukot sa aming mga mahal sa buhay, ginamit ng gobyernong Aquino para makapagmaniobra ng pera sa DAP. Pang-iinsulto ito sa mga biktima si Pang. Aquino! (The Aquino government used the disappearance of our loved ones so it can maneuver funds for the DAP. Pres. Aquino is gravely insulting the victims!)” said Lorena Santos, secretary general of Desaparecidos. 

The amount is part of P226.663 million worth of DAP funds released through the DSWD, under project name “Financial Assistance for Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services” (CIDSS).

Santos said the Aquino government likewise should be made accountable for the 20 reported victims of enforced disappearances since June 2010 to present. “They add up to the 206 victims of enforced disappearances under the former Arroyo government, and hundreds more in the past regimes that remain missing to this day,” she said.

The group also hit the Aquino government’s funding of its “dirty war” through the DAP, citing funds like the P665.6 million budget for the AFP and the P1.819 billion funds for the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process.

“In the guise of peace, the Aquino government is using said funds to continue its policy of summary executions, abductions and enforced disappearances. While the Aquino government is manipulating funds through the DAP to make it appear it is compensating victims of rights violations, it continues to fund the policy that sows terror among the people, where abduction and enforced disappearance is part of,” Santos said.

Families of desaparecidos will join students of the University of the Philippines in an activity called “Palpa-run” on August 30. In commemoration of the International Day of the Disappeared, Desaparecidos will hold a protest action on September 1, at the pre-trial hearing of retired Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan, accused of abducting UP students Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan and hundreds more in different areas where he was assigned. ###

Reference: Lorena Santos, Desaparecidos secretary general, 0908-8121982

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