[Statement] End the list! Sign and Ratify the Convention Against Disappearances Immediately!-CAED

CAED Statement on the International Week of the Disappeared
“End the list! Sign and Ratify the Convention Against Disappearances Immediately!”

Jonas Burgos, Rudy Romano, Hermon Lagman, Joseph Belar, Jovencio Lagare, Romualdo Orcullo, Diosdado Oliver, Artemio Ayala, Arnold Dangkiasan, Edgardo Estojero, Renato Topacio, Sherlyn Cadapan, Karen Empeño, Leo Velasco, Manuel Manaog, the list of the disappeared goes on with no end in sight. They may have been silenced, but their friends and families continue to speak up. And now, their friends and families demand that government end the list immediately.

11265477_10153314294307673_8178387056375191908_oIn observance of the International Week of the Disappeared, the Coalition Against Enforced Disappearance (CAED) stands in solidarity with other organizations around the world in pushing for the universal ratification of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICPAPED). CAED calls on the Philippine Government to sign and ratify the Convention immediately!

“In a country plagued by impunity and a weak justice system, it is imperative that we ratify the Convention as it will complement our domestic law,” said Mary Aileen Diez-Bacalso, CAED Convenor and Secretary-General of the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD). The Philippines is the first country in Asia that enacted an anti-enforced disappearance law (RA 10353), and yet no perpetrator has been convicted under such law.

“The law is there, but it is not being implemented fully,” said Nilda Lagman-Sevilla, Co-Chairperson of the Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance (FIND), and sister of Atty. Hermon Lagman who disappeared in 1977. “We need the Convention to strengthen legal protection from enforced disappearance,” she added.

“If the President is committed to upholding human rights as he claims, I see no reason for the Philippines not to sign and ratify the Convention,” said Ron de Vera, AFAD Country Coordinator for the Philippines. De Vera’s father was disappeared on Fathers’ Day in 1990 during the administration of Pres. Aquino’s mother, the late Corazon C. Aquino. “Let this be the President’s legacy to our families. Otherwise, his administration will just be another long stretch along the ‘tuwid na daan’ (straight path*) to empty promises,” De Vera said.

CAED demands a stop to enforced disappearances. End the list! Sign and ratify the Convention against disappearances immediately!

Signed and authenticated,

Mary Aileen Diez-Bacalso
Coalition Against Enforced Disappearance

*“Tuwid na Daan” (Straight Path) is Pres. Aquino’s anti-corruption slogan

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