The Asian Federation on Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) has urged the government to fully implement Republic Act 10353 or the Anti Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance Act of 2012 which makes the crime of enforced disappearance punishable by life imprisonment. AFAD likewise called for the ratification of the convention on enforced disappearances which is the last and only international convention on human rights that Philippines has yet to sign.

The group also said that there had been forty (40) desaparecido cases that were reported during the first two years of the Duterte administration. Of the 40 reported victims of enforced disappearance, noted human rights organization, Families of Victims of Enforced Disappearances (FIND) was able to document more than 20 cases. Ten are still missing, one surfaced alive and nine were found dead. Below is a table containing statistics on Enforced disappearances across different administration as documented by FIND.

Despite of the re-introduction of democratic and judicial mechanisms we still see continuing trends of enforced disappearance across administrations. There is lack of political will and predisposition to implement due to lack of appreciation of human rights.

DUTY-BEARERS RESPONSE TO ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCES

On 17 September 2018, the Malolos Regional Trial Court (RTC) issued a guilty verdict on former Major General Jovito Palparan for his kidnapping and serious illegal detention related to the disappearance of University of the Philippines (UP) students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno in 2006. The judgement was promulgated at the Malolos RTC before Judge Alexander Tamayo.

Two other officers were also found guilty of the crime were Lt. Col. Felipe Anotado, Jr. and Staff Sgt. Edgardo Osorio. Palparan, Anotado and Osorio were sentenced to reclusion perpetua, or 20 years and one day to 40 years imprisonment, and were ordered to pay P100,000 for civil 8 and P200,000 for moral damages for each count.

HUMAN RIGHTS ASSESSMENT