ILOILO City — The families, friends and co-workers of two missing Ilonggo activists marked the tenth year of their disappearance today, April 12, at the Jaro Plaza, across the Jaro Cathedral.
Falling on the eve of Maundy Thursday, the commemoration of the enforced disappearance of Maria Luisa Posa-Dominado and Nilo Arado was meditative-protest in tone. Bearing a large streamer and placards, families and friends called for justice for the two activists.
“Enforced and involuntary disappearance is the most cruel form of human rights violation,” said Reylan Vergara, secretary general of the human rights group Panay Alliance-Karapatan.
Posa-Dominado and Arado, prominent Iloilo activists, became victims of enforced disappearance on the evening of April 12, 2007 in Brgy. Cabanbanan, Oton, Iloilo while travelling home from Antique.
Posa-Dominado was spokesperson for Panay of Samahan ng mga Ex-detainee Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (Selda), while Arado was chairperson of Paghugpong sang mga Mangunguma sa Panay kag Guimaras (Pamanggas).
“The kin, especially the immediate family of the victims, suffer the pain of loss of their loved one, helpless in thinking that their loved one may be in a very difficult situation. Luisa’s and Nilo’s children are still in the dark as to what happened to them,” said Vergara.
The families of Dominado and Arado decried the inaction of the government in responding to the incident.
“There is no closure, even after 10 years, and that makes it even worse,” Vergara added.
“It has been 10 years, but the Posa family has not received any rightful answer,” said Louie Posa, brother of Luisa.
“Where is the justice the government was telling us about?”
The families of Dominado and Arado have already petitioned for the writs of habeas corpus and amparo at the local courts in 2007.
They have also brought the case to the United Nation’s Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances.
At Brgy. Cabanbanan where the two were abducted, a marker was erected as a tribute to all victims of enforced disappearances in the country to symbolize the protest against cruel and tyrannical means used to silence the people’s voice.
Human rights groups and progressive people’s organizations vowed to continue to protest against impunity that is behind the enforced disappearance and other human rights violations that are perpetrated up to the present regime. (John Ian S. Alenciaga | panaytoday.net)