Five years later, activist Melissa Roxas still seeking justice

By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

June 4, 2014

LOS ANGELES – It’s been five years since activist Melissa Roxas claimed she was abducted and held prisoner by those who she believes were members of the Philippine military in Tarlac.

Five years later, the pain of that week in late May of 2009 still runs deep.

“Five years after my abduction and torture there’s still no justice in my case. The Philippine court keeps dragging my case so of course I feel enraged that nothing’s been done in terms of finding justice for my case. Not even a genuine investigation,” said Roxas.

Filipino activists held a commemoration for Roxas, as well as other victims of political killings and kidnappings, calling on the Obama administration and Philippine government to investigate her case.

Part of her pain she said comes from a continued delay in justice. Her case continues to make its way through the Philippine Court of Appeals as well as the United Nations.

“Continuing to speak, I think, really helped me. And being with the families of other desaparecidos and victims of human rights violations, I think their courage and perseverance to continue to pursue justice really inspires me to do the same,” said Roxas.

With President Obama’s recent visit and the agreement on strengthened military ties, Roxas fears many more will also experience what she’s allegedly been through, which motivated her to share her story.

“It should worry all American people because what it essentially is doing is condoning the human rights violations still happening in the Philippines. Because with unequal agreements like EDCA happening, not only does it violate the sovereignty of the Philippines, but it also provides training and funding to the Philippine military that still commits human rights violations,” she said.

Despite her testimonies in 2011, the Commission of Human Rights in the Philippines “practically cleared the Armed Forces of the Philippines of any wrong doing in Roxas’ abduction case.

But the CHR did admit that Roxas suffered inhumane treatment by persons unknown.

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