Monday, May 25, 2009

Haiku 052509

for the night

the setting sun’s bed ...
squirrel's nest


Recently, we read the following:

New York Times: "American Woman Is Freed After Philippines Abduction" by Carlos H. Conde

"An American woman was freed five days after armed and hooded men believed to be military agents abducted her and two companions in a Philippine province north of Manila, her colleagues said Monday.

"The woman, Melissa Roxas, 31, an activist from Los Angeles who had been doing volunteer health work in Tarlac Province, was kidnapped on May 19 along with two other health volunteers for a nongovernmental nationalist group called Bayan.

"She 'surfaced this morning,' said Renato Reyes Jr., secretary general of the group. Mr. Reyes said it was not yet clear why only Ms. Roxas was freed. The fate of the two other workers, Juanito Carabeo and John Edward Handoc, remained unknown.

"It was the first time that an American citizen had fallen victim to what Bayan and human rights groups here call 'enforced disappearances,' or the abduction of activists by those suspected of being military agents....

"According to the human rights group Karapatan, more than 200 Filipino activists have been kidnapped and never heard from since 2001, the year President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo came to power. Others have turned up dead or showing signs of torture.

"Groups like Human Rights Watch have said that activists’ disappearances are part of the government’s counterinsurgency campaign against leftist rebels. The military has consistently denied that charge, calling it propaganda by leftist groups sympathetic to the three-decade-old Communist movement in the Philippines.

"But the United Nations Human Rights Council, in a report last year prepared by its special rapporteur, Philip Alston, called on Ms. Arroyo to institute reforms within the military and to investigate thoroughly what Mr. Alston called 'credible allegations' that the military was behind most of these killings and abductions.

"Eduardo Ermita, Ms. Arroyo’s executive secretary and spokesman, called the rapporteur’s report inaccurate and said Mr. Alston was biased toward leftists."


And we thought:

…. Most find a place for the night on their own. Some appear to find a place for the night on their own. Others are forced to spend the night in secret detention cells by agents of repressive governments -- sometimes for days or months on end. Sometimes they end up joining the ranks of Los Desaparecidos.

The Philippines is one of those countries where forced disappearances continue to occur. Ms. Melissa Roxas is fortunate; she is an American citizen….

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