Members of Desaparecidos (Families of the Disappeared for Justice) and other progressive groups commemorated the International Day of the Disappeared in a gathering at the Plaridel Hall, College of Mass Communications of University of the Philippines Diliman in Quezon City Thursday, August 30.
They paid tribute to the families and friends of the Desaparecidos from the Marcos era up to the present who are until now looking for their loved ones.
Mrs. Editha Burgos, mother of the missing activist Jonas Burgos, said that enforced disappearances, aside from being politically motivated and state sponsored, are now being used by the Duterte government on its so-called war on drugs.
There are many cases of disappearances especially the poor under Oplan Tokhang of the Philippine National Police, Mrs. Burgos said.
She added that the effect of enforced disappearance is rampant because it is a continuing crime not only at the time when person was disappeared but, more importantly, on its impact to the victim’s family, friends and even to society.
Mrs. Concepcion Empeño, mother of missing UP student Karen, cast doubt on the upcoming verdict of the court against Jovito Palparan, primary accused on her daughter’s abduction and disappearance, along with Sherlyn Cadapan and Manuel Merino.
Mrs. Empeño said that the supposed promulgation was set on May but has been delayed for several months already.
The event was also the launching of UP RISE! (UP Against Tyranny and Dictatorship), a multi-sectoral alliance based in UP committed to unite against the tyrannical rule and fascist dictatorship of the Duterte regime.
The group denounced the recent visit of Imee Marcos, daughter of the late dictator, to the University last August 25 in a reunion with Kabataang Barangay colleagues.
It said the Filipino people will never move on and never forget the atrocities of the Marcos family.
Isaac Punzalan, RISE UP convenor, said that the unholy alliance of the Marcoses, Arroyos and Duterte will intensify the attacks against the Filipino people.
“We are ready to embrace the historic role of being the forefront of the struggle for genuine change”, Punzalan declared. (Report and video by Joseph Cuevas)