Press Release
June 6, 2007

Jinggoy hits Palace for not signing UN convention to find desaperacidos

Opposition stalwart Sen. Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada yesterday denounced the administration of Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for failing to sign a United Nations convention for the protection against enforced disappearances and to endorse the same to the Senate for ratification.

Estrada urged Malacanang to sign the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances.

"As soon as Mrs. Arroyo affix her signature to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances, we are ready to ratify it at the Senate," Estrada said, adding:

"The irony of it, we are a democratic country and yet the Arroyo administration has refused to sign a UN convention and endorse the same to the Senate for ratification."

French Ambassador Gerard Chesnel had recently appealed to the Philippine government and other countries to sign and ratify the international convention.

France had played a major role in the adoption of the convention by the United Nations General Assembly on December 20, 2006 or barely five months ago.

Chesnel made the appeal as relatives of desaperacidos from seven countries planted tree sapling at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani shirne in Quezon City to mark the International Week of the Disappeared last June 1.

Edita Burgos, whose son Jonas Joseph has been missing, was one of the relatives who planted saplings along with relatives from India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Chesnel urged the Asian Federation against Involuntary Disapperances (Afad) which organized the tree planting to lobby for the signing and ratification of the UN convention.

Edita, widow of late press freedom icon and human rights activist Jose Burgos Jr., appealed to the captors of her 37-year-old son not not harm him.

The young Burgos wo had been training farmers in Bulacan on organic farming was seized by unidentified men from the Ever Gotesco shopping mall in Quezon City last April 28.

Estrada had earlier filed two bills in Senate seeking the creation of a Commission on Missing Persons and to stop involuntary disappearances.

"The Arroyo administration should support the families of missing persons and the least that this administration can do is to sign and endorse the international convention to the Senate to put more teeth on the government's fight againsty enforced disappearances," Estrada said.

News Latest News Feed