Desaparecidos to Pope: Disappearances destroyed our families

Press Release: –

January 19, 2015

“Enforced disappearances have destroyed our families, the very foundation of a society and church. Children are left motherless or fatherless,” Lorena Santos, secretary general of Families of Desaparecidos for Justice said upon hearing Pope Francis’ speech at Malacañang and in his meeting with representatives of Filipino families.

“The remaining members of the family had to seek refuge away from their way home to secure their lives. We live in fear and in constant threat,” Santos said. “In this way, dear Pope, we feel only violence, cruelty and further inequality,” Santos continued.

“Our pain and suffering in search for our disappeared loved ones have been too long. But the consequences of enforced disappearance in the communities and the society leave a deeper scar that frightens, and even silence anyone who thinks of voicing out for the poor,” Santos said. “This is what our missing loved ones did, serve the poor and became their voice. This is why they were abducted and disappeared,” Santos continued.

“With your call to our government leaders for “moral imperative of ensuring social justice and respect for human dignity’ we, families of desaparecidos find in our hearts the need to enjoin you in our quest for justice,” Santos asked the “People’s Pope”.

“We have written you letters to ask for your help. We hope these letters will reach you,” Santos said. “Our missing loved ones deserve justice. Their children and the younger generations need to be assured that crimes against humanity should not go with impunity,” Santos said. “We don’t want our children and the youth to continue to live a life of injustice and inequality, ” Santos added.

“We ask you dear Pope, to call on to stop enforced disappearances in the Philippines and in other countries. Again, be with us in our quest for justice to all victims of human rights violations,” Santos said.

“Our missing loved ones believed and worked for a just society, free from the bondage of inequality. Like you, we believe that this is what ‘heaven on earth’ means. Like you, we want to build this society for our children,” Santos concluded. ###


Lorena P. Santos, Secretary General: +639088121982