Activist raise concerns with "pork" witnesses and US Military on "Day of Disappeared"

By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

September 3, 2013

LOS ANGELES – Gone but not forgotten, and with hope still going strong, Filipino activists joined a vigil remembering those who have disappeared. This years theme for international day of the disappeared…migrant workers…for Filipinos like dreamer Seth Ronquillo, it’s a commemoration for those who have fallen into the shadows looking for a better life.

When it comes to being undocumented you often do not exist so at some level we are a person disappeared in the eyes of the law wherever you are. It’s important for us to remember there are some folks continuing to disappear because of the broken immigration system that we have,” said Seth Ronquillo of student group University of California Los Angeles Ideas.

This year’s international day of commemoration comes as the Philippines is in the midst of a multi billion peso public funds corruption scandal linking at least 2 dozen lawmakers. While the whistle blowers involved in the alleged pork barrel scheme are so far accounted for, Filipinos hope no one with key information on the pork scam goes missing. “There is real danger for the whistle blowers the most important things to remember is even the whistle blowers right now has not had protection even from Aquino. Aquino basically helped escort the perpetrator of the crime Napoles to jail instead of giving protection to the whistle blowers. While Napoles who’s wanted for this crime was given protection,” said activist Tony Dorono of the FIlipino Migrant Center.

The day also comes as US defense secretary Chuck Hagel visits the Philippines to talk about strengthening military ties…Which Filipino activists label as a threat to human rights…including military linked disappearances, “We know when this happens, it continues and intensifies human rights violations including more violence against women and their families,” explained Terrie Cervas of women’s rights group Gabriella.

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  • jorge buesa
    5 September 2013 at 8:02 am - Reply

    When you become a whistle blower your doing something good, but you should think good about what your doing ? People that you going to whistle blower on them, is people doing things wrong and some of them don’t care about your life ? After everything is done you going to have to watch your back for life ? Because people wouldn’t forget what you did to them ?