Where’d you go? #RememberML@40

Day 54 –> 20 Me!


I’ve been listening to the song with the same title. The chorus really gets to me.

It goes:

Where’d you go? I miss you so. Seems like it’s been forever since you’ve been gone… please come back home.

Today, is the day of remembering those who disappeared during martial law. Of course, an opportunity like this — I wouldn’t miss it for the world.


In international human rights law, a forced disappearance (or enforced disappearance) occurs when a person is secretly abducted or imprisoned by a state or political organization or by a third party with the authorization, support, or acquiescence of a state or political organization, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the person’s fate and whereabouts, with the intent of placing the victim outside the protection of the law.[1]

According to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which came into force on 1 July 2002, when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed at any civilian population, a “forced disappearance” qualifies as a crime against humanity and, thus, is not subject to a statute of limitations. On 20 December 2006, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.

Often forced disappearance implies murder. The victim in such a case is abducted, illegally detained and often tortured during interrogation; killed, and the body hidden. Typically, a murder will be surreptitious, with the corpse disposed of to escape discovery, so that the person apparently vanishes. The party committing the murder has deniability, as no body provides evidence of the victim’s death.

“the disappeared”

(los desaparecidos)

According to THIS ARTICLE

In 1995 10,000 Filipinos won a U.S. class-suit against the Ferdinand Marcos estate. The charges were filed by victims or their surviving relatives for torture, execution and disappearances. Human rights groups placed the number of victims of extrajudicial killings under martial law at 1500 and over 800 abductions; Karapatan (a local human rights group’s) records show 759 involuntarily disappeared (their bodies never found). Military historian Alfred McCoy in his book “Closer than Brothers: Manhood at the Philippine Military Academy” and in his speech “Dark Legacy” cites 3,257 extrajudicial killings, 35,000 torture victims, and 70,000 incarcerated during the Marcos years.[22][23] The newspaper “Bulatlat” places the number of victims of arbitrary arrest and detention at 120,000. Alfred W. McCoy (b. 1945) is a historian and a Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He earned his Bachelor of Arts fromColumbia College, and his Ph.D in Southeastern Asian history from Yale University.

The New People’s Army (NPA) groups known as “Sparrow Units” were active in the mid-1980s, killing government officials, police personnel, military members, and anyone else they targeted for elimination. They were also part of an NPA operation called “Agaw Armas” (Filipino for “Stealing Weapons”), where they raided government armories as well as stealing weapons from slain military and police personnel. A low level civil war with south MoslemsAl-Qaeda sympathizers andcommunist insurgents has led to a general break down of law and order. The Philippines government has promised to curb the killings, but is itself implicated in many of the killings.

To this day, we still remember those who disappeared. Some are “fortunate” that their disappeared has been found (dead) cos at least they have a body to grieve for… but some, have bodies in unknown location. Unfound. Without a trace.

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