Today, 30 August 2014, the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) joins the world in remembering our colleagues and loved ones who fell victim to enforced disappearance, on the occasion of the International Day of the Disappeared.
The coalition also echoes the call of Desaparecidos (Families of the Disappeared for Justice) – Philippines for the swift prosecution of retired Major General Jovito Palparan and other perpetrators of human rights violations in the Philippines. “We have more than enough testimonies from witnesses to prove that he is indeed the mastermind behind the abduction and disappearance of Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan, said Lorena Santos, General Secretary of Desaparecidos.
“We demand that Palparan be made accountable not only for the abduction of Karen and Sherlyn but for all the victims of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances under his leadership”, Santos further declares.
There are 59 documented victims of enforced disappearances from Southern Tagalog, Eastern Visayas, and Central Luzon during Palparan’s tour of duty in the mentioned regions.
Likewise, we call not only for the prosecution of Palparan. There are several Palparans in the ranks of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. They are those who continue to abduct, kill and violate human rights of the citizens whom they are supposed to protect! Under the Philippine government’s so called Peace and Security Plan – Oplan Bayanihan – these perpetrators of human right violations are coddled and protected, many of them even rewarded.
Desaparecidos have earlier identified the likes of Brig. Gen. Ricardo Visaya, Gen. Eduardo Año, Gen. Aurelio Baladad and AFP chief Gen. Pio Catapang to be among those continuing the systematic violations of the human rights of the Filipino people under Oplan Bayanihan.
A total of 20 victims of Enforced Disappearances have been documented since the presidency of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III (June 2010 to present).
The ICHRP reiterates its continuing commitment to accompany the Filipino people in their search not only for their missing loved ones. Today, we also reiterate our commitment to be active participants in the struggles of the Filipino people for just and lasting peace in the country.
Canon Barry Naylor
Chairperson, Global Council
International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP)
Office: +44 (0) 116 261 5371
Mobile: +44 (0) 775 785 3621