Compiled by ECjr.
Photos by FIND, AFAD, Richie Supan, Celia Sevilla and Egay
It was my first time to witness and listen to a truth telling activity. Relatives of victims of enforced disappearances one by one took turns in narrating what they think and remember about their loved ones before they were disappeared. It was indeed a heart breaking scene. The cases were somehow old stories for human rights advocates like us but they never failed to touch and break my hearth. I already know, but I never thought that I would be more affected by the feeling of uncertainty of the victims’ where about when their stories are being told by the families of the victims themselves.
The truth telling conference was part of the week long commemoration of the International Week of the Disappeared which was commemorated from May 29 to June 4 this year. It was spearheaded by Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance or FIND together with the Asian Federation Against involuntary Disappearance or AFAD.
I learned from Darwin, one of our colleagues from AFAD that the annual IWD was based on a tradition that started in Latin America by Nuns and mothers of victims of enforced disappearance.
The Truth-Telling Conference was held in a conference room in the House of Representatives.
Mr. Butch and Mrs. Cora Fortuna narrate their untiring search for their son Daryl who was disappeared since March of 2010.
The Week long commemoration started with an opening Caravan at the Quezon City Memorial Circle last May 29, 2011. It was participated by tricycles that are members of Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Transportasyon (PMT) and families and advocates including us.
The IWD commemoration culminated with a dinner discussion held in Kowloon Restaurant in Matalino Street in Quezon City, June 3, 2011. It was also in lined with AFAD’s 13th Anniversary in June 4, 2011 and the relaunch of the Coalition Against Enforced Disappearance (CAED) through commitment signing by human rights defenders.
Truth hurts but truth shall set us free. HRonlinePH is one with families and victims of human rights violations in calling for the State to respect and protect the right not to be disappeared.
- [Statement] Thirteen Years of Struggle: Our Choice, Our Responsibility – AFAD (hronlineph.wordpress.com)
- [Statement] Disappeared But Always Remembered (hronlineph.wordpress.com)
- [Featured Site] www.find.org.ph (hronlineph.wordpress.com)
- [Statement] Enforced Disappearance is Anti-Life… No to Untold Sufferings…. Sign and Ratify the UN Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance! – AFAD (hronlineph.wordpress.com)
- [From the web] Speech of President Benigno S. Aquino III on the forum of the AFAD and FIND, May 4, 2011 (delivered by DOJ Secretary Leila de Lima) (hronlineph.wordpress.com)
- [Featured blog] AFAD: Evisioning a world without desaparecidos (hronlineph.wordpress.com)