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Philippines

From victims to defenders

Governments should realize that enforced disappearance can never succeed in silencing people

Edita Tronqued-Burgos, Manila

Edita Tronqued-Burgos, Manila

Updated: January 04, 2021 07:44 AM GMT
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From victims to defenders

Sombath Somphone was abducted on a busy street in Vientiane in 2012. (Photo: Radio Free Asia)

We will never be short of "living heroes" from whom we can draw inspiration, especially among those who accepted this unwanted vocation we have given our lives to.

In the past 13 years as I searched for my son, Jonas Joseph Burgos, abducted on April 28, 2007, one of the truths I have discovered, which was affirmed time and time again, is that even in the most painful and dangerous and treacherous circumstances, people do rise up and selflessly give of themselves to others.

When your rights are violated, you may respond in different ways. The first, a very natural reaction, is fear, paralysis, silence and/or escape. Some react by confronting the perpetrators and the situation with anger and vengeance in mind. A very few take the pain and the grief as a means to release the courage in their hearts — to fight back in a peaceful way.

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