Families of desaparecidos demand justice

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 28) — As the world commemorates the International Day of the Disappeared on Aug. 30, families of desaparecidos in the country are still demanding justice for their loved ones.

Edita Burgos, whose son was abducted more than a decade ago, said enforced disappearances still happen during the current administration.

She explained more than 1,000 cases had been reported during the late dictator’s rule, 821 during the administration of former President Cory Aquino, 39 under the Ramos administration, 26 under the Estrada presidency, 206 during the term of President Gloria Arroyo, nine during former President Noynoy Aquino's term, and more than 20 under the Duterte administration.

Under President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s administration, it’s currently at 8, Burgos added.

“Eh isang taon pa lang eh ilang taon pa sya? I-multiply po 'yan ng six. Nakakakilabot,” Burgos noted.

[Translation: He’s only been in office for one year. Multiply that by six, it’s frightening.]

“We are here to reiterate our call to surface our loved ones. These persons are not just numbers but actual people. They are family members, a father, a friend,” Idda de Jesus said.

De Jesus’ brother, Gene Roz Jamil, disappeared last April 28 along with Dexter Capuyan in Taytay, Rizal.

“We tried to contact him but we couldn’t reach him. He was incommunicado. And we tried to piece everything together then it became clear to us he was abducted or enforceably disappeared,” De Jesus explained.

She accused state forces of being behind her brother’s alleged abduction.

“For what reason? Because they probably did something which these state agents or forces didn’t want them to, which is to pursue the truth, to be the voice of the voiceless,” she said.

Eli Capuyan, Dexter’s brother, hopes there will be an end to this injustice as they continue to search for their loved ones.