“NASAAN KA?” Ezekiel O. Estojero, 17 yrs old 15” x 20”, oil pastel on board

Enforced or involuntary disappearance. Many Filipinos are still unaware of how widespread this odious offense is in the country. The commission of this offense did not end with the Marcos regime, but continued with each succeeding administration.

Many of the victims are workers. Workers who were forced to fight for their rights, which capitalists shamelessly violated. Workers who fought for their principles against those who belong to the more powerful echelons of the society.

Who would have thought that the State, mandated to protect its citizens, is the main culprit behind such offense? Disappearance is perpetrated by State agents who claim that these workers hinder economic growth, when in fact all they are guilty of is hindering capitalist’ accumulation of wealth. These capitalist seem to have forgotten that labor is a primary economic force and that the works who supply it shed blood and sweat just to put some food on the table – even if it’s just a meal of salt and rice. All the while, they who own the companies wallow in riches.

This injustice drives masses to protest, fighting for their Constitutionally-guaranteed rights which the rich and powerful, such as politician, nonetheless trample on. Yes, politicians. For many companies are owned by these so called ‘representative of the people’ or they are protégées of big capitalists. And because of their status, they are certainly powerful and have the “right connections”.

Thus, they can easily cause harm to those who stage protests. Some even are captured and later on killed. These killings are usually done by the very security forces of our government. The same people who sworn to respect, protect and fulfill the rights of the people.

A number of victims’ bodies have been found, but many cannot be located yet. Many families continue to hope that their disappeared relatives will be found alive. And many more continue to live in fear of the very possibility that another loved one could be the next victim.

We live in constant fear of having to live through the trauma all over again.

by: Lorena Lenin Castillo

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  1. Resty Quitoriano says:

    No better insight could be given about that heinous human right violation but on the eyes of the children of victims. May your existence in this world be a living example of how grave enforced disappearances is so people would join hands in eradicating this inhuman act.

    • Thanks for the support. We, the children of the disappeared as well as the other families, are really pushing hard into making enforced disappearance a societal concern. It is not ours alone (the families left behind) but also those who are vulnerable to be victims of this grave violation of human rights. Anyone can be a victim. Enforced Disappearance in a crime against humanity.

  2. Nice article Lenin. Re-posted this to HRonlinePH. Padayon!

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