Category Archives: Human rights

Desap Part 3

portajada familyThirty-year old Mary Guy Portajada, a volunteer of Desaparecidos and daughter of a former union leader who was abducted in 1987, said that some children of desap victims turn to illegal drugs and other bad vices with their friends for comfort. “Yung iba hindi naiintindihan kung bakit nawala ang tatay nila, ‘yung iba nag-drugs, nagrebelde sa pamilya.”

Guy and her siblings got separated after her father’s abduction.

“After na dukutin siya, for a few months naghiwa-hiwalay kami ng mga kapatid ko. Bumalik lang kami sa bahay namin ng kalmado na ang sitwasyon,” she said. “Naglalabandera ang nanay ko sa community para suportahan kami. Nagtitinda naman ng Sampaguita ang mga kapatid ko pagkagaling sa eskuwela.”

Eighteen years have passed since her father’s disappearance, but Guy has yet to reconcile with her past. “Parang mahirap yatang mag-move on. May panahon na tanggap…pero andun pa rin ‘yung pag-asa…umaasang isang umaga darating ang tatay mo.”

She went on, “’Pag nalulungkot kami, sasabihin ng mga kapatid ko asan kaya siya…sana kung nandito siya ganito ang buhay…’Pag birthday niya iniisip namin masaya kaya siya? Natatandaan pa ba niya na kaarawan niya? Nakakulong pa rin ba…may torture? Kumakain pa ba?

“’Pag nabuburyong…sige na nga tanggapin na lang natin…Mahirap ipaliwanag kung ano talaga ang nararamdaman.”

Guy is involved in a cultural group called SAD (Samahan ng Anak ng Desaparecidos) that does theatrical performances and even street plays they call Iglap Dula.

“Nagtayo kami ng cultural group dahil sa tingin na mula sa cultural group magkakaron ng mabilis na projection ng issue ng disappearances,” she said. “Mas effective ang stage and street plays, iba ‘yung napapanood mo, mararamdaman mo talaga ‘yung message.”

Please click the links to read Part One and Part Two.

Desap Part 2

reynaldo garciaEmily Tolon Garcia was seven months pregnant when her husband Reynaldo, a community organizer of KADENA (Kabataan Para Sa Demokrasya at Nasyonalismo) was abducted in March 1987.

“Kasagsagan pa ng total war policy ni Cory Aquino na ibinaba noong Feb. 1987. After one month ‘yan ang resulta, raid sa mga community, maraming nawala sa mga organizers,” she said in an interview.

Emily was an active union member in a semi-conductor company when her husband went missing.

“Ang tingin ko na nakapag-implicate sa kanya ay ang GRP-NDF peace talks in early 1987. Bilang community worker alam niya ang mga pasikot-sikot, tumutulong siyang magbigay ng security para sa NDF peace negotiator,” she
said.

While searching for her husband, Emily was led to the organization of FIND (Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance), where other families of desap are supported and assisted.

She subsequently established Desaparecidos  (Pamilya ng Desaparecidos para sa Katarungan) in 1995 in alliance with other human rights org that assist families in searching for their kin, counsels and aids them in their emotional and financial needs.

“Kung nagsurface sana (remains of victim), may dadalawin kang tomb at pwede mo siyang kausapin. Unti-unti mapa-process ang nararamdaman mo hanggang sa maka-cope up ka.”

garcia and daughter

It took five grueling five years for Emily now 45 to cope with the loss of her husband. She said she needs to be strong for her daughter and other families in the organization she is in charge with.

“May anak ako kaya kailangan kong maging matatag,” she said. “Sa akin bilang sec gen kailangan magpakita ka ng strong personality para ‘yung mga susunod sa’yo makita ka nila na dapat mag-move on ka na,” Emily said.

Please click the link to read Part One http://www.yamsfiles.com/desaparecidos/