Category Archives: ISSUE

PULANG KANDILA

ni Bonifacio Ilagan

(Sa alaala nina Jessica Sales, Cristina Catalla, Ramon Jasul, Modesto Sison, Gerrdo Faustino, Virgilio Silva, Salvador Panganiban, Erwin de la Torre, Manny Salvacruz at ng aking kapatid – Rizalina Ilagan.)

 
Di ko na binibilang ang mga taon. 
Bastat tuwing kaarawan mo, nagsisindi ako 
Ng  pulang kandila.
 
Ang mga magulang nati’y yumaong nag-aabang 
Sa iyong pag-uwi.
Ang mga anak ko’y nangagsilaking sa pangalan 
       ka lamang
Napaglilimi.
 
Sino’ng nakakaalam kung ikaw ay nasaan?
Maliban sa kanilang dumakip, nagpahirap, nanggahasa.
at pagkatapos, nang lupaypay na ang iyong katawan
Sa iyong sentido ay nag-umang ng baril
O nagtarak sa dibdib mong sugatan ng punyal,
Sino ang nakakaalam, wala.
 
Di ko na binibilang ang mga taon.
Bastat tuwing kaarawan mo, nagsisindi ako 
Ng pulang kandila.
 
Nakikipagtitigan ako sa dila ng apoy
Pilit sinisipat ang iyong banayad na ngiti.
Bumubulaga sa diliwariw ko 
Ang mga katawang dinamitan ng sugat at dugo
Ang mga butong hinaltak sa laman
Mga pagkataong dinuhagi ng mga halimaw.
Continue reading
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A DESAPARECIDO TO A POLITICAL PRISONER.

Free Nitoy Itaas! Free All Political Prisoners - TFDP

I am daughter of a desaparecido, but I was also a daughter of political prisoner.

Years ago, when I was still unconscious of how the society works; when all I know in life was toys and games; I saw my father in the news raising his fist up high. I asked my aunts what was happening and they just said that my father was now a super star.  Amusing but I know it was never like that. The next thing I knew, I never saw my father again. Not until we visited him in Camp Crame. Not behind bars but still confine.

I am my Papa’s girl. And not being able to play with him was in no way easy. What more writing letter of how much you want to go to the zoo? Of how great you are in school? Of how much you miss him? Of when is he coming home? I was eight back then and still, I asked them where my father is? Lies were thrown at me that he was just working and can’t come home. Lies for I was too young to understand.  To young to know.  After a few months he was released.

But fate decided not to be good to our family. For after four years he was again taken from us. This time, we really have look hard for we don’t know where he is exactly. From hospital to morgue, to precinct to military camps. Mama was restless and scared. We are restless and scared. At twelve, I was still young. But old enough to know that it happened before. Old enough to understand and to know what was going on. Continue reading

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[Statement]The Righteous Path Should be Free from Enforced Disappearance

Joint Statement of AFAD and FIND
On the President Aquino’s 2nd State of the Nation Address
25 July 2011
 

Today, the whole nation will be sitting on the edge of the seat as we listen to President Benigno Simeon Aquino III deliver his second State of the Nation Address (SONA).

We are all expecting PNoy to go beyond mere rhetoric of promised change. Leaving out human rights from the government’s top agenda during his first SONA has become a major blunder that brings the nation way off his “daang matuwid” (straight path) in over a year in office.

In as far as human rights are concerned, it has been a crooked trail from the start. The president did not only fail to fulfill his promise to end serious human rights violations in the country, but his inaction has led to more transgressions with brazen impunity.

The continuing commission of enforced disappearances highlights this untenable fact. As of September 2010, the Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance (FIND) has documented 2,314 cases of disappearance since the dark days of Martial Law up to the present administration.  Eight new cases have been reported under the present Aquino administration according to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR). Most of these cases are attributed to state security sectors. To note, the recent Supreme Court decision ordered the military to release two missing UP students Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan and their farmer companion, Manuel Merino and named members of the Armed Forces of thePhilippines, including retired Major General Jovito Palparan responsible for their disappearance in 2006. Yet until now, no single perpetrator has been brought to justice.

This situation mirrors the dismal state of human rights in the country under the Aquino administration. Continue reading

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Statement of FIND on the 17th Anniversary of the Unveiling of the Flame of Courage Monument

13 July 2011

Flame of Courage

It may not be as huge and conspicuous as most of the monuments in Metro Manila, but its significance is deep and extraordinary. The Flame of Courage Monument that was unveiled 17 years ago today and is now part of the Bantayog ng mga Desaparecido memorial shrine at the Baclaran Redemptorist church grounds serves as a place where families and friends remember, offer prayers and pay tribute to their loved ones who were forcibly disappeared.

The 17th anniversary of the monument also marks the 26th year since Redemptorist priest Fr. Rudy Romano and activist Roland Levi Ybañez were disappeared.

Fr. Romano was allegedly abducted by military intelligence operatives on July 11, 1985 in Labangon, Cebu City. Like most enforced disappearances, the search for the truth behind the enforced disappearance of Fr. Romano has been endless even as his life has not ceased to inspire political and social activists more particularly in the urban poor and labor sectors.

Fr. Romano fearlessly struggled with and for the oppressed unmindful of the perils of the righteous path he was treading. Continue reading

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Joint Statement on the 26th Commemoration of the Enforced Disappearance of Fr. Rudy Romano, CsSR

Joint Statement on the 26th Commemoration of the Enforced Disappearance of Fr. Rudy Romano, CsSR.

At around 3:45 PM, a man riding a blue motorcycle was blocked by armed men, shoved into a white Ford Cortina bearing government license plates and taken away.  The person would later on fit the description of Fr. Rudy Romano, CsSR.

It was July 11, 1985. He was 44 years old.

Twenty six years later, we still ask the question asked by many on that fateful day, “Where is Fr. Rudy?”.

Perhaps his enforced disappearance was orchestrated by those could not live with his leadership role in the progressive movement or perhaps by those whose interests were threatened by his community organizing and fraternizing with the basic masses – the workers, the farmers, the poor.  Perhaps he inspired resistance against the injustices perpetrated by the forces that be. Perhaps his abduction was meant to silence the growing anti-dictatorship sentiments in the province.

These nagging questions persist to this day. What is certain is that despite Fr. Rudy’s sudden disappearance, his personal struggle for social change has taken a collective form and continues to this day.

For every worker who is deprived of his just share in the distribution of wealth, Fr. Rudy is there. For every farmer denied of his dignity by being denied of his right to till his own land, Fr. Rudy is there. For every injustice, Fr. Rudy is there. Continue reading

WHY PERPETRATORS OF ENFORCED DISAPPERANCE SHOULD BE LIMITED TO AGENTS OF THE STATE OR PUBLIC OFFICERS

*This is the position of the Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance on the issue of exclusion of the NON-STATE ACTORS in the recent bills on Anti-Enforced Disappearance Law.
 
 

• Enforced disappearance violates the fundamental rights to life and liberty which are enshrined in Article III (The Bill of Rights) of the Constitution in order to be protected.

In his sponsorship speech as Chair of the Committee on the Bill of Rights of the 1986 Constitutional Commission, Fr. Joaquin Bernas said:

“Protection against whom? Protection against the state. The Bill of Rights governs the relationship between the individual and the state. Its concern is not the relation between individuals, between a private individual and other individuals. What the Bill of Rights does is to declare some forbidden zones in the private sphere inaccessible to any power holder.”

• During the interpellation, Fr. Bernas reiterated that “the rights in a Constitution are protection against the government”. When asked if the “rights which protect the citizens against other private citizens” can be considered as a valid second category of constitutional rights, Fr. Bernas categorically answered, “I would not put that under the Constitution. That would be more of a matter for the Civil and Penal Codes”. He further underscored that “a private individual” who “injures another individual… is not covered by the Bill of Rights” but by “civil law and criminal law”. Elucidating, he made it clear that the Bill of Rights lists the rights of individuals vis-à-vis the state. What the Bill of Rights, he said, tries to prevent is the violation of these rights by the state and not by other individuals. As an example, he cited the provision which states that “no person shall be deprived of life”. He explained that this means non-deprivation of life by the state without due process of law; that if a person kills another person, it is a violation of the penal law, but not of the Bill of Rights. Continue reading

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