[Photo Blog] Beyond telling are stories of injustice that fail to disappear

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.

Photo by FIND

The Truth-Telling Conference was held in a conference room in the House of Representatives.

FIND Chairperson Nilda Lagman Sevilla and CHR Chairperson Eta Rosales. Photo by FIND

Parents of enforced disappearance victim Daryl Fortuna tell their stories. Photo of FIND

Mr. Butch and Mrs. Cora Fortuna narrate their untiring search for their son Daryl who was disappeared since March of 2010.

Atty. Guinto of the PNP Human Rights Affairs Office and Col. Tutaan of the AFP Human Rights Affairs Office. Photo by FIND

AFAD Sec. Gen. Aileen Bacalso and FIND Chairperson Nilda Lagman sevilla with Police Chief Superintendent Atty. Clarence Guinto. Photo by AFAD

Mr. Louie Crismo, member of FIND tells his story of his disappeared brother during Martial Law. Photo by FIND

Boyet Itucal, member of FIND, surfaced desaparecido. Photo by FIND

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.

Members of PMT, FIND, AFAD and other Human Rights NGOs in a Caravan calling for the enactment of the Anti Enforced Disappearance Law and Ratification of the Convention. Photo by Richie Supan.

Photo by Egay

FIND and AFAD banners of faces of victims of enforced disappearance on lamp posts around QC Circle. Photo by Egay

Fr. Robert Reyes with children of desaparecidos. Photo by Egay

Samahan ng mga Anak ng Desaparecidos (SAD) in a cultural performance. Photo by Egay

Photo by Egay

Photo by Egay

Photo by Egay

Photo by Egay

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.

AFAD Sec. Gen. Aileen Bacalso in her welcoming remarks. Photo by AFAD

Members of SAD. Photo by AFAD

Photo by AFAD

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.


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