Bente Singko: A Festival of Memories, A Creation of New Stories
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Monday, 19 September 2011 13:13
Bente Singko: A Festival of Memories, A Creation of New Stories

Logo2_copy_smallBente Singko: A Festival of Memories, A Creation of New Stories seeks to mainstream human rights and remind the people of the horrors of Martial Law and take stock of its lessons so that those dark years may never happen again.  Bente Singko will use the arts, both visual and literary, as the venue to convey the message to the people.  It will be an opportunity for artists who witnessed and even experienced the atrocities of martial law to share their stories and influence the public, especially today’s youth, to always remain vigilant.

A festival of memories

Bente Singko commemorates the downfall of dictatorship by bringing back the memories and stories about heroism of freedom fighters, human rights defenders, activists and revolutionaries during that time.  It’s a story telling through the arts.  

A creation of new stories

Bente Singko will also encourage expression and interpretation of the new generation about issues that are still present up to now.
The festival will be conducted in 5 schools. This will be instrumental in empowering students through the inputs of various artists. TFDP, having been established during the height of Martial Law, will look back at the struggles of the people, during Martial Law and learn from its lessons.

Sub events:

  • Tinamaan ka ng lente- 25 photos of the past, 25 photos of the present
  • Berso sa kalsada, tula ng paglaya – 25 literary pieces of the past, 25 literary works of the present
  • Bente Singko films showing – 25 video productions about martial law
  • Bente Singko at konsiyerto – 25 music artists against martial law
  • Martial Law Monument design and slogan making contest - An obelisk that will memorialize our ML experience and our continuous fight against impunity


Festival of Memories:

  • Martial Law Photo Exhibit in schools and online posting of materials on events, peoples and places contained in the Museum of Courage and Resistance.
  • Bente Singko Film showing: Martial Law videos

Creation of new stories:

  • Tinamaan ka ng lente: photo contest
  • Berso sa kalsada tula ng paglaya: Poetry writing contest
  • Martial Law Monument design and slogan making contest

Bente Singko: A Festival of Memories, A Creation of New Stories-HR week Festival

Last Updated on Monday, 19 September 2011 13:29
We have RAGED!
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Thursday, 01 September 2011 09:58

We have RAGED!
(Run AGainst Enforced Disappearance)

We, the families of the disappeared and human rights advocates in the Philippines, gather today to commemorate the International Day of the Disappeared through our activity, Run Against Enforced Disappearance (RAGED).  

We have RAGED that this day should never have been commemorated if only States around the world including all their instrumentalities had respected the human rights of their citizens.

We have RAGED that enforced disappearance is still being used as a repressive tool to stifle dissent and to silence political opposition. It is one of the cruelest forms of human rights violations.  It violates practically all civil liberties and human rights including the right to life.

We have RAGED that the cases of enforced or involuntary disappearances are, by their very nature, not only difficult to investigate and prosecute, but they continue to occur while past incidences unabated and unresolved. The Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance (FIND) has documented 2,160 victims of enforced disappearances since the dark years of Martial Law.  Six victims have been reported under the present Aquino administration.  Lamentably, with the absence of prosecution, impunity is the order of the day and the number of victims is doomed to multiply.

Last Updated on Thursday, 01 September 2011 10:02
Joint Statement on the 26th Commemoration of the Enforced Disappearance of Fr. Rudy Romano, CsSR
Other campaigns
Tuesday, 12 July 2011 13:35
At around 3:45 PM, a man riding a blue motorcycle was blocked by armed men, shoved into a white Ford Cortina bearing government license plates and taken away.  The person would later on fit the description of Fr. Rudy Romano, CsSR.

It was July 11, 1985. He was 44 years old.

Twenty six years later, we still ask the question asked by many on that fateful day, “Where is Fr. Rudy?”.

Perhaps his enforced disappearance was orchestrated by those could not live with his leadership role in the progressive movement or perhaps by those whose interests were threatened by his community organizing and fraternizing with the basic masses – the workers, the farmers, the poor.  Perhaps he inspired resistance against the injustices perpetrated by the forces that be. Perhaps his abduction was meant to silence the growing anti-dictatorship sentiments in the province.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 July 2011 13:38
Disappeared But Always Remembered
Other campaigns
Monday, 30 May 2011 11:02

Joint Statement of AFAD and FIND
International Week of the Disappeared (29 May to 4 June 2011)
29 May 2011

IWD_2011_May_29_at_QC_Peace_Bell__Motorcade_99_smallEvery last week of May, the families of the disappeared and human rights advocates around the world join together in commemorating the International Week of the Disappeared.  Here in the Philippines, from May 29 to June 4 this year, we remember and honor all the desaparecidos who were snatched from the bosom of their families and society and made to suffer the unknown ordeal.  Their memories live on in our hearts and minds.

The International Week of the Disappeared which began as a local tide of protest of the Latin American Federation of Associations of Relatives of Disappeared-Detainees (FEDEFAM) more than three decades ago eventually grew into a global tidal wave against the abominable practice of enforced disappearance even as it is an expression of international solidarity for the disappeared and their families.  Our continuing observance of this occasion reflects the continuing character of enforced disappearance as much as it mirrors the unabated commission of this state-perpetrated heinous offense.

Cases upon cases from the past to the present remain unresolved. The UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance (UNWGEID), in its 2010 Annual Report, attests that enforced disappearance is a major human rights concern of 83 countries.  Asia, which has no strong regional mechanisms for redress and no domestic laws penalizing disappearance as a separate and autonomous criminal offense, is the continent with the highest number of cases.

Enforced disappearance is a grim reality in the Philippines. Families of the disappeared continue to search and wait for their disappeared loved ones. The persistence of disappearances in the country speaks of how pervasive this odious problem has been and continues to be. The Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance (FIND) as of May 2011 has documented 1,820 out of 2,160 victims of disappearance from the dark years of  martial law up to the present administration.  Seven victims have been reported under the present Aquino administration. This only proves that the commission of enforced disappearance persists with impunity.

As the human rights situation remains critical and uncertain, the surviving victims and families turned human rights defenders refuse to passively await justice.   They have kept the memory of their disappeared loved ones alive by steadfastly searching for them, vigorously demanding the truth from their own governments and tirelessly working towards guarantees of non-repetition.

Despite efforts to combat impunity of this global scourge at the national and international levels, much ought to be done to eradicate it from the face of the earth. One concrete measure is to compel all governments to sign and ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.  This Convention, which provides for the right to truth and the right not to be subjected to enforced disappearance, was adopted in 2006 by the United Nations General Assembly and entered into force on 23 December 2010. To date, this international human rights instrument has 88 signatories and 26 States parties. It is equally important for States to penalize enforced disappearance in their statute books as mandated by the Convention.  The Philippines is not yet a signatory much less a State party to this Convention.

We therefore urge President Benigno Simeon Aquino III to fulfill the government’s voluntary pledges and commitments submitted to the UN Human Rights Council as early as 2007 by signing this treaty and endorsing the immediate passage of an anti-disappearance law as concrete steps towards realizing his promise of “providing truth and complete justice for all.”  The President being a son of a human rights victim himself should be more acutely aware of his responsibility to resolve the past and present human rights violations and prevent further transgressions. He even claimed during his inauguration that “when we allow crimes to go unpunished, we give consent to their occurring over and over again”. It is about time for him to walk the talk. This, he owes to the Filipino people whom he considers to be his boss.

As we pay tribute to all desaparecidos, we pledge our staunch commitment to relentlessly pursue the search for the truth, to bring individual perpetrators to justice and hold the State accountable, and to redeem the dignity of the victims and their families.

Our dear desaparecidos may not be physically present with us but they are definitely not forgotten. Their memories always emit a glimmer of hope and rekindle our spirit to dream and sustain our collective struggle to make the inhuman offense of enforced disappearance finally disappear.


Last Updated on Monday, 30 May 2011 11:13
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