LFS Press Statement on International Day of the Disappeared

YOUTH AND STUDENTS ARE OUR FUTURE AND SHOULD NOT BE VICTIMS OF OBLAN BANTAY LAYA!

Reference: Faye-Denise Lacanilao, Vice Chair, LFS – SFSU

email: lfs.sfsu@gmail.com.

The League of Filipino Students of San Francisco State University (LFS-SFSU) commemorated the 27th Anniversary of the International Day of the Disappeared this Monday, August 30.

We joined San Francisco Committee of Human Rights in the Philippines (SFCHRP), BAYAN-USA, Anakbayan Eastbay, Anakbayan Seattle, babae San Francisco, and other international organizations in remembering those who have gone missing ever since the implementation of Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL) during Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s regime in 2001.

LFS-SFSU remembers and demands justice to those who have disappeared, especially the youth and students, like Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno of the University of the Philippines, and many others. Especially to our fellow Filipino American activist, Melissa Roxas, who was disappeared and tortured by the military for six days. They were all victims of Oplan Bantay Laya’s attempt to defeat armed rebellion in the Philippines.

We stood in front of the Philippine Consulate of San Francisco to ask Noynoy Aquino’s regime to ensure justice to those who have disappeared, and to their families who are still suffering today. LFS-SFSU demands justice to the victims of OBL, and hold the President Noynoy Aquino accountable for prosecuting former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for over 1,205 cases of extrajudicial killings, and 206 cases of abductions under her regime.

These people are legal activists, students, organizers, and community leaders, whose only crime is to serve the marginalized people that the Philippine government neglects. They are unarmed civilians who just so happens to be critical of the government, and their families are still grieving today—still seeking justice.

As students living a thousand miles apart from our homeland, we continue to keep ourselves aware, and serve as watchdogs over the Philippine government’s actions to resolve the human rights violations being done to our fellow students. We promise to continue educating other Filipino Americans, and even other students of color, about the injustice and human rights violations being done to repress and silence people like us from speaking out against our government. Our government who is supposed to serve us, protect us, and ensure our right to education—the youth—for we are the future leaders of our world.

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