Subject: [Karapatan HR update] November 2 NEWS RELEASE: No justice under Duterte, families of desaparecidos gather on All Souls Day for the missing, killed

News Release
2 November 2017
No justice under Duterte, families of desaparecidos gather on All Souls Day for the missing, killed

PLAZA MIRANDA, MANILA — “There is no justice for desaparecidos under the Duterte regime, and will remain so, as long as Pres. Duterte pets and coddles those who abducted our loved ones,” declared Families of the Disappeared for Justice as they gathered on All Souls Day, November 2.
Held weeks after the courts acquitted army Maj. Harry Baliaga, accused in the abduction and disappearance of farmer-activist Jonas Burgos, the gathering of Desaparecidos is an indignation that perpetrators go scot-free and even promoted to government positions like Gen. Eduardo Ano, recently-appointed undersecretary of the Department of Interior and Government.
“Duterte is mocking the victims’ cry for justice and accountability that has been denied to them for so long. Ano, aside from his bloody record of rights violations, is now in the same agency that conducted hundreds of illegal arrests and unjust detention, making money from bounties and rewards, inflicting torture and harassment. By coddling the abductors, he is part of the perpetuation of the crime of enforced disappearance,” said JL Burgos, brother of Jonas.

While calling to surface all desaparecidos, the group also expressed solidarity with families of victims of extrajudicial killings, political and drug-related killings. “Four people were abducted and disappeared since Duterte came to power. Duterte dare not say they are just four people, in the same way he considers thousands of those killed under the guise of Oplan Tokhang as collateral damage,” said Concepcion Empeno, chairperson of Desaparecidos.
Empeno added, “We are one in our search for justice. All of victims of rights violations are testament of the regime’s continuing use of repression. We vow to continue as long as the state employs fascist attacks on the people.” ###

KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights