Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Disappearance act set to be law
Legislation would make country Asia's first to outlaw state abductions
- ucanews.com reporter, Manila
- October 18, 2012
The Anti-Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance bill was passed on Tuesday, and has been sent to President Benigno Aquino for his signature.
Rights groups yesterday welcomed the move and urged Aquino to sign without delay.
New York-based Human Rights Watch said once Aquino signs the act into law, it would demonstrate the governmentâsncommitment to addressing human rights abuses such as the abduction and killing by security forces of activists,Â environmentalists, and journalists.
âEnforced disappearances, often involving torture and extrajudicial killings, have been a blot on the Philippinesâ human rights record since the Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship,â said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
âTo this day, activists are still being abducted by the authorities and âdisappeared.â This law would be an important step towards ending these abuses,â he added.
Violators will risk a life sentence in jail. The act also prohibits amnesty for violators and declares that the government cannot suspend it even in times of war or public emergency.
The proposed law also states that the commanding or superior officers of a unit or person implicated in an enforced disappearance case share the liability with the person who physically carries out the crime.
Enforced disappearances were rampant during the Marcos dictatorship, when security forces routinely rounded up activists and suspected communist supporters and rebels.
Many also occurred during the term of former president Gloria Arroyo.
At least 11 activists have âdisappearedâ since Aquino took office in 2010, according to local rights groups, though there are no allegations that the administration is directly responsible.
âCongress has done a great job in taking the initiative to pass a law on enforced disappearances,â Adams said.
âPresident Aquino can show his administrationâs commitment to ending this black chapter in Philippine history. He can also assume a role as a regional leader on human rights,â he added.
Families call for action on disappeared
Concern grows for missing Church leader