By Marielle Medina, Kate Pedroso,Inquirer Research, Philippine Daily Inquirer
November 1, 2012
Erlinda Malicdem still remembers the last words her husband, Jimmy, uttered in Filipino before the urban poor leader disappeared on Oct. 8, 1987: “When the time comes, you’ll understand what I’m doing.”
Now 54, Erlinda has been visiting Bantayog ng mga Desaparecido at Redemptorist Church in Baclaran, Parañaque, since the memorial was erected in 1994. Tomorrow (Thursday), she will be visiting with her three children and five grandchildren, and over 60 other families.
“The families come here every year because they have no tomb to visit on All Souls’ Day,” said Wilma Tizon, deputy secretary general of the Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance Inc. (FIND), an organization of families, friends and colleagues of the disappeared, as well as surfaced “desaparecidos” (disappeared).
FIND has documented 1,838 cases of disappearances since 1971. Nearly half of the cases (878) happened during the martial law regime of President Ferdinand Marcos.
“Every All Souls’ Day, we make it a point to visit the memorial to remember our loved ones,” Erlinda said.
She remembers Jimmy as a man for others. “Before he disappeared, every time somebody called on him for help, that person becomes his priority.”
“He’s been gone for a long time, but the pain is still there,” she said.
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