The year 2012 ended with the enactment of Republic Act 10353 or the Philippine Anti- Enforced Disappearance Act of 2012. It was followed by the promulgation of its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) on 12 February 2013. The law signifies a moral victory for the families of the disappeared in the Philippines who, amidst many constraints, persistently campaigned for an antidisappearance law until their twilight years, and for some, till the very end of their lives. Giving cognizance to the invaluable contribution of the authors, families of the disappeared profoundly value the law as a major form of justice. A recognition of the cruelty of this state-perpetrated crime, it gives prime importance to the desaparecidos; recognizes their sacrifices and the sufferings of their loved ones; seeks truth, justice, rehabilitation, reparation and non-recurrence.
For this, the AFAD salutes the Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance (FIND) for the grand success of its campaign - making the Philippines the first in Asia to have an anti-enforced disappearance law. Such exemplary work may not exactly be replicated in other countries, but its very process is an experience that could serve as a guide for all those who struggle to erase enforced disappearance from the face of the earth.
This issue relishes this hard earned victory in as much as it speaks volumes of the devastating consequences of enforced disappearances in other Asian countries where AFAD is present.