Tag Archives: FIND

SAD Speech at 19th Annual Conference in Italy

A member of SAD was able to participate and given a chance to tell her tales as a daughter of a desaparecidos in the 19th Annual Conference in E. Balducci Centre Zugliano, Italy.
 

My name is Relyn T. Bon, 21 years old, a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in the University of Pasig, Philippines. I am currently working as an Administrative and Finance Staff of Teachers’ Dignity Coalition a non-government organization for teachers in the Philippines. I’m here to represent Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance (FIND) – a human rights advocate in the Philippines where the Samahan ng mga Anak ng Desaparecidos or Association of the Children of the Disappeared from which I take part. It is one of the pet programs they established to help for the rehabilitation of sons/daughters of the victim of involuntary disappearance. I am glad to be part of the 19th Annual Conference here at Balducci Centre, reflecting upon: “Children and Women of the World: Protagonist of the Human Future”. It is indeed a great privilege to be a proactive participant of this convention.

I really feel so honored to share with you my personal experienced as a child of a disappeared and how our family faced the situation. I’m just one of the numerous children, parents, wives, brothers and sister of the disappeared in the Philippines who are also experienced losing a loved ones. Some victims were found surfaced alive; while other found dead and many are still remain missing.

We are six siblings in the family of three girls and three boys. I am the youngest. My mother’s name is Yolanda T. Bon, 56 of age a member of FIND. She was only three months pregnant with me when my father disappeared. A simple housewife but because of the disappearance of my father she work hard for her to support and fed us. My father’s name is Remigio P. Bon,   He was a labor leader and a member of Alyansa ng Manggagawa sa Pasig (ALMAPAS) a labor organization. He disappeared August 8, 1989 at Barangay Ueg, San Mariano, Isabela, Philippines. The probable cause of his disappearance is politically motivated. My father’s disappearance has been psychologically and emotionally traumatizing our surviving family, because he is the breadwinner in the family. A very sad experienced that I have because I grew up without him to guide and to care for me while I’m growing. I lost the person who could be the first source of my strength and help me when I’m in trouble or need advice. It’s very difficult to realize that I missed out the father who could make me laugh or smile when I feel bad and most specially to show his love for me. But I know wherever he is now he protects our family.

After six years of his disappearance the horrible remains of my father was exhumed June 23, 1995 I was five years old then. FIND workers, together with my mother and the University of the Philippines (UP) Anthropologist Professor Jerome Bailen went to Barangay Ueg, San Mariano, Isabela Philippines to conduct a low profile investigation and searched to my father’s remains. Base on the investigation that they conducted the result was positive. The remains of my father brought to the UP laboratory for the examination of his skeletal remains and base on the autopsy report my father was summarily executed. He was given a final burial October 29, 1995. Enforced Disappearance is the most cruel and most brutal form of human rights violation because it violates the right to life of a victim like what had happened to my father. Indeed, my father’s human rights were violated and the worst part of the story since our bread winner and the head of our family’s life were taken away from us we until now are suffering form its holistic turmoil.

Our country, the Philippines, is one of those who have reports on human rights violations and our family’s story is just one of the various cases. One specific case of human Rights violation in the Philippines is the so – called enforced Disappearance. What is Enforced Disappearance? Enforced Disappearance – “is the arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation of liberty by agent of the state or by persons or group of persons acting with the authorization, support or acquiescence of the State, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or by concealment of the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person, which place such a person outside the protection of the law.” (as define by the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance).

We as human beings are entitled to certain rights or freedom of action to realize our innermost potentials and to achieve our goals and aspirations. Needless to say basically we have the right to life, to dignity, self-development, to survive, to self-determination and to national development. But as much as we would like to preserve the inalienable and inviolable rights of each human family, violations of the said rights are happening in each country. Reported atrocities of human rights violation are been reported in the United Nations and other international body and non-governmental organizations which advocated the protection of human rights. 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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Panaginip ni Neneng

Sa muling pagmulat ng mga mata, tanong ang bumubulaga. Nakatitig sa kisame at tila sinasabing ‘kumilos ka at ang oras ay nasasayang’. Ngunit para saan ang oras? Para saan ang pag-kilos? Bakit may panghihinayang? Isang bagong umaga na namn ng paghihintay. Nauulinigan ko ang tinig ni Ina, ngunit hindi ni Ama. Walang malakas at mababang tinig ang sasalubong sa akin sa hapag-kainan.Walang malaking katawan na magbabasa ng drayo habang nagka-kape ang magtatanong ng aking mga gawain sa araw na iyon. WALA dahil si Ama ay WINALA. Ito ang isang bangungot na hindi ko kailanman nais pang maganap, ang kanyang MULING pagkawala.

Katulad ng isang pangkaraniwang araw, ika’y isang anak na nag-nanais na gumampan sa gawain bilang isang panganay. Ang makatulong sa bahay maging ang pagpapanatili sa kaligtasan niya. Ngunit nakakabahala lalo’t na tila si ama ay patuloy pa ring minamatyagana at ang posibilidad ng muling pagkawala ay maaring maulit. Hanggang kailan ba kami mangangaba para kanya?

Sa tagal ng panahon, inabot na sa halos labing anim na taon ang pagsusulong ng isang batas na nagnanais magbigay proteksyon sa laban sa sapilitang pagkawala. Ang batas na magtatanggal ng kaba sa aming pamilya. Kamakailan lamang ay ito ay naipasa na sa para pangalawang pagbasa sa Senado ngunit hindi sa Mababang Kapulungan. Gumagalaw? Mukhang kailangan ng igirang pagkalampag at walang katapusang diyalogo sa mga opisyal na ito. Continue reading

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SENATE APPROVES ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCE BILL

The Senate before adjourning sine die on Wednesday passed on second reading Senate Bill No. 2817 which seeks to define and penalize enforced disappearance.

Senate Bill No. 2817 was approved in substitution of Senate Bills numbered 100, 1226, 1455 and 2176 respectively authored by Senators Francis “Chiz” Escudero, Manuel Villar, Miriam Defensor Santiago and Francis Pangilinan.

Escudero, who chairs the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, steered the plenary approval of the measure with perfecting amendments proposed by Santiago.

The proposed human rights legislation adopts the definition of enforced disappearance under the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance which entered into force in December last year.

The definition considers the offense as a state-perpetrated deprivation of liberty whose commission is denied or where the fate and whereabouts of the disappeared are concealed by the authorities.

The bill does not only impose penalties but also provides for preventive measures as well as compensation to victims and/or their families and rehabilitation of both victims and offenders.

Under the bill, “victim” refers to the disappeared person and any individual who has suffered harm as a direct result of an enforced disappearance.

Bills criminalizing enforced disappearance have been filed in both the Senate and the House of Representatives since the 9th Congress. The House had approved the substitute bill on third and final reading in the past two Congresses but in the current 15th Congress, the six bills pending before the Committee on Justice are yet to be consolidated.

“The families of desaparecidos and human rights advocates have been lobbying for an anti-enforced disappearance law for 16 years now,” Wilma Q. Tizon, Secretary-General of the NGO Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance (FIND) said.

According to Tizon, the Senate’s approval of the bill is a big step toward the realization of the families’ dream to bring perpetrators of involuntary disappearance to justice.

“It will also spare other families the trauma that the odious offense wreaks,” Tizon added.

FIND has documented 1,820 out of the 2,160 reported victims of enforced disappearance from the Marcos regime to the present Aquino administration under which five have been reported.

 

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