THE US-DUTERTE REGIME, on February 13, formally requested to the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (UN-WGEID) to remove from its list the 625 cases of enforced disappearances in the country.
The list includes the names of those abducted by the reactionary state since 1975 until 2012. This scheme by the Duterte regime aims to conceal the accountability of the perpetrators of the crimes. This measure is a blatant insult to the efforts of the victims’ relatives to achieve justice which has long been denied them. Reports by human rights groups indicate that there were 795 victims of enforced disappearances under the US-Marcos dictatorial regime, 821 under Corazon Aquino, 39 under Ramos, 26 under Estrada, 206 under Arroyo, 29 under Benigno Aquino and eight under Rodrigo Duterte.
Karapatan said that the impunity over cases of enforced disappearances despite laws such as the Anti-Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance Law of 2012 and the Human Rights Victims Recognition and Reparation Act of 2013 is a result of Duterte’s criminal negligence. Even the sentence against former Army General Jovito Palparan was not a result of the regime’s compliance with legal standards but of the efforts of victims’ families and human rights group to hold the perpetrator accountable.