Aquino signs Anti-Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance Act of 2012

December 23, 2012 1:10 am 

MANILA, Dec. 22 — President Benigno S. Aquino III signed the Anti-Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance Act of 2012, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda announced on Friday.

The new law criminalizes the “arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation of liberty by agents of the State.”

Most notable cases of enforced or involuntary disappearances include the abductions of Jonas Burgos, Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno as well as other desaparecidos. Under the Anti-Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance Act of 2012, security forces involved in such offenses can be arrested and charged.

Among the salient features of the law include non-exemption of any offender from amnesty, either convicted or facing prosecution, from liability.

Also, war or any public emergency cannot suspend the enforcement of the anti-disappearance law. Command responsibility will also be observed, making superior officers culpable for violations of their subordinates.

Under the law, subordinates can defy unlawful orders of superiors for the commission of enforced disappearance. It also calls for periodic update of registry of all detained persons in detention centers, and the law prohibits existence of secret detention facilities.

Victims and kin could ask for compensation, restitution and rehabilitation under the new law. Reclusion perpetua will be the severest penalty for violating the Anti-Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance Act of 2012.

It also mandates that Human Rights organizations shall participate in the crafting of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the law. (PNA)

RMA/PCOO/JSD

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