From the TUC

Enforced disappearances continuing in the Philippines

23 Apr 2014, By Guest

It has been five years now since the Campaign for Human Rights in the Philippines UK invited Mrs Edith Burgos, the mother of missing activist Jonas Burgos, in London to raise awareness about abductions and enforced disappearances in the Philippines to the British public.

Fast forward seven years since Jonas was abducted by suspected elements of the military in 2007, Edith’s search for her son still continues and the quest for justice remains bleak.

According to KARAPATAN, a Philippine-based human rights watchdog, there have been 19 more cases of enforced disappearances under the Aquino government since end of 2013. Not one case has been convicted, much less prosecuted. The suspected brains behind the abduction of Jonas Burgos, Maj. Harry Baliaga escaped prosecution by filing bail – and is now a fugitive, together with other military “henchmen” who have been linked to masterminding gross human rights violations to those critical of government, such as former Gen. Jovito Palparan.

It is no surprise then that a recent statement of the Asian Human Rights Commission ranked the Philippines as the 3rd most dangerous place for journalists and activists – from trade union activists to human rights defenders alike.

It is in this light that the Campaign for Human Rights in the Philippines UK (CHRP-UK) continue its work to raise awareness of the dire human rights situation in the Philippines within Britain.

This year, and to commemorate the 7th year anniversary of the tireless search of Mrs Edith Burgos for her son, we proudly present The European Premiere of the indie feature film “Burgos” on 30th April, 6.00pm at the ODEON Covent Garden, in co-operation with the London Labour Film Festival.

There will be a short discussion after the show with guests: Dennis Evangelista, supervising producer of the film who will talk briefly about the making of socially relevant indie films such as Burgos; Angie Gonzales, the Coordinator of the International Coalition for Human Rights of the Philippines (ICHRP), a global formation of human rights organisations, of which CHRP-UK is a founding member, to discuss about the ongoing campaign on extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, among others.

Through this activity, we call for solidarity amongst the British trade union movement and the general public – to stand with the families of the disappeared in their struggle for justice and to further pressure the Philippine government to put an end to impunity in the country.

The film is being run as part of the London Labour Film Festival, and you can book tickets online via the festival website