Mayo 3, 2007

Bayan says 'disappearances' escalating in last 3 months

The militant Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) on Thursday expressed alarm over the rising number of "enforced disappearances" highlighted by the recent abduction of Jose Burgos Jr's son, Jonas.

n a statement on its website (, Bayan said the labduction of Burgos shows "imprints of military operation."

"The abduction of Jonas Burgos is the latest in a wave of abductions and disappearances that have targeted leftist activists. The figures are staggering. The methods show sheer impunity and a total disregard for the law," said Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes Jr.

He said there had been more than 800 victims of extrajudicial killings but this still does not show the whole picture of repression.

Reyes said there are now almost 200 victims of enforced disappearances, almost all of whom have yet to surface.

"The number of dead may be far higher than what is being reported," Reyes said.

Citing Bayan's figures, he said that over the past three months, there were several cases of reported abduction of activists in Cavite, Cebu and Iloilo.

Among those abducted were Nilo Arado, the chairman of Bayan in Panay and former political prisoner Luisa Dominado.

Reyes said that unlike extrajudicial killings wherein only half of the total victims are organized activists, the victims of enforced disappearances are almost all activists.

"Unlike in cases of extrajudicial killings where there are bodies present, enforced disappearances leave people speculating if the person is still alive or dead. Disappearances are therefore as cruel as extrajudicial killings. Perhaps state forces think that the public outrage over disappearances may be less compared to the public outrage in cases of extrajudicial killings," he said.

"It is too early for the Philippine National Police to dismiss the angle that the military is involved. Nor could we dismiss the angle that operatives of the police are also involved. Whoever abducted Burgos appeared to have acted with authority and were unmindful of the many witnesses in the abduction," he added.

On the other hand, he said the climate of impunity that has caused the deaths of activists and journalists in the country only emboldens state security forces to commit enforced abductions without fear of the law.

"We join other human rights advocates in calling for the immediate surfacing of Jonas Burgos. We hold the Arroyo regime ultimately accountable for its failure to stop violent attacks on legal activists. We firmly believe that the Arroyo regime maintains a policy of repression and annihilation against the legal Left," he said. - GMANews.TV

Posted by marga at Mayo 3, 2007 4:30 PM | TrackBack
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