Today, August 30, 2008, marks the 25th observance of the International Day of the Disappeared.
- 24 victims of enforced or involuntary disappearances
- 36 victims of frustrated political killings
- 69 victims of extra-judicial executions
- 55 victims of torture
These are just the documented numbers, and just for 2007.
Karapatan has the following recommended courses of action for those in the international community, especially those in the United States:
Foreign governments are called upon to stop all military aid to the Philippines since it is used to stifle and crush legitimate dissent. The corrupt GMA central government should be stripped of other forms of aid and cooperation by redirecting them to people’s and other non-governmental organizations and the local government units. . .
Global struggles to stop the state terrorism of the Arroyo and Bush regimes, especially those being waged by activists in the U.S. and the Philippines, should be supported by internationalists from all parts of the world. Such struggles are part of the anti-imperialist campaigns against globalization and war.
The issue of desaparecidos goes beyond Gloria Arroyo. The killings and disappearances have only increased since the Philippines became an ally in the US-led war against terror. These disappearances and killings are enabled by massive militarization in the countrysides, a militarization supported by the United States. Inaction on our part here makes us all complicit in the continuing tide of desaparecidos.
Around the country, social justice advocates continue to face repression, threats, attack. The best way to honor their struggle is to work towards a time when International Day of the Disappeared no longer needs commemoration.