TO THE EDITOR: PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER
The Philippine Daily Inquirer
Dear Mr. Editor,
Eighteen days after I sent a Letter to the Editor dated September 28, 2010 to the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI), I have seen in today’s issue of the PDI that you published an altered letter mentioning about our earlier request for appointment with President Benigno Aquino lll. I clearly noticed that the first paragraph of the original letter sent to you was totally changed, thus affecting the whole content. As a matter of fact, the title you gave, “Still Silent on Desaparecidos,” is erroneous based on the recent developments between our organizations and President Aquino.
To note, the first paragraph of the original letter dated 28 September states:
“October 8 is just around the corner when the first one hundred days of Pnoy will soon be over. For the families of the disappeared in the Philippines and the rest of the world, the president whom they supported during his candidacy, has yet to open the door of his office to the Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance (FIND) and the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances which are repeatedly requesting for an appointment with him during his first one hundred days in office.”
I immediately called the Appointments Office of the Office of the President to explain my side and promised that I would ask the PDI to make the necessary correction. Never did we know that the PDI would still publish an old letter and change its content without first asking the author. Many things could happen in 18 days. To note, Malaya published the same letter as it was originally written in its Readers’ Forum on 1 October 2010.
On 6 October 2010, two days before the end of the first 100 days of President Benigno Aquino lll, he received an 8-member delegation of the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) and the Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance (FIND) in Malacanang Palace. He generously gave us fifty minutes of his precious time, which is amazing for the Head of State. We mentioned our concerns, which he ardently listened to and in fact, he promised that the government will study our concerns regarding the anti-enforced disappearance bill and the international treaty against enforced disappearances. He mentioned that most probably, in 2011, an anti-enforced disappearance law will finally see the light of day.
Hence, grateful of the time which President Aquino generously gave us and his initial promise to look into the plight of the disappeared, we look forward to the more concrete responses of this new administration to the plight of the disappeared and their families.
May we please request you to publish this letter immediately. May we also request your office to please make the necessary clarification on the letter to the editor which you published today.
MARY AILEEN D. BACALSO