I heard about your enforced disappearance six days before the passing into law of Philippine Anti-Enforced Disappearance Act of 2012, the first ever anti-enforced disappearance law in Asia. I have worked on the issue of enforced disappearance for a couple of decades. Each case means a life stolen from the disappeared and his or her family; it means that a part of society has been forcibly taken from it, thus tearing apart its very fabric and causing devastating consequences to the disappeared that you are, your loved ones and the society where you belong. When the most-awaited enactment of draft anti-disappearance law came after more than 16 years of struggle for it to see the light of day, I had the ambivalent feeling of joy that we finally have this law in the Philippines but also mixed with pain because the list of desaparecidos of the world lengthened further by your enforced disappearance…..
Bayview Park Hotel, Manila, Philippines | July 17-20, 2014
Group photo of conference participants and secretariat
We gather for our Third Conference on Psychosocial Support in the Search for Truth and Justice for individual, family and community victims of enforced disappearance, torture, extrajudicial killing and allied human rights violations cognizant of the plurality of histories, cultures, political systems, and socio-economic settings of our countries of origin. Considering these diversities, we review and validate the applicability of the International Consensus on the Minimum Standards for Psychosocial Work in Search Processes and Forensic Investigations of Cases of Enforced Disappearance, Arbitrary or Extrajudicial Executions (Minimum Standards).
Today is the 29th year of the disappearance of Fr. Rudy Romano, a Redemptorist priest forcibly taken by military intelligence agents on July 11, 1985. He was well loved by the people, especially the urban poor, workers and farmers because he represented their concerns during the dark years of Martial Law. He was their voice in informing the government and the bigger public about their issues and demands.