BATU, Indonesia. Photo by Jes Aznar

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Fighting Impunity in the Philippines

by Iris Gonzales

One death is too many. As I write this, human rights organizations and loved ones of victims of enforced disappearances and extra judicial killings continue to cry out for justice. 

The numbers are stark and telling: 150 journalists killed since 1986; at least 206 cases of enforced disappearances; and 1,206 cases of extra judicial killings since 2001, according to data from the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines and Karapatan. 

Fighting impunity is an uphill battle but the people are not giving up. Everyday, in the courtroom, in unknown places, through images and various campaigns, the struggle continues. 

The Internet, for instance, is also used as a tool to raise awareness on the situation in the country and to bring the perpetrators to justice. 

But this is not enough. The Aquino administration must make true its promise to address the problem of impunity in the country.

Until then, the number of deaths will continue to grow. And one death is too many.

(This multimedia project is part of Google's Collaboratory Project on Human Rights and the Internet launched in Berlin, Germany in March 2012. Thank you to Jes Aznar, Edith Burgos, Kiri Dalena, Angelica Carballo, JB Deveza of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, Angge Santos of Karapatan, Linda Cadapan,  Connie Empeno, Krissy Konti and Rorie Fajardo for the invaluable assistance).