April 12 is a sad day, the day an old friend, Maria Luisa Posa Dominado, Luing for short, disappeared from our lives violently, snatched from her comrades and loved ones to prevent her from doing her ongoing work for human rights and social change.
She and her companion Nilo Arado were brazenly abducted by armed men on the evening of April 12, 2007 on a public road on the outskirts of the city of Iloilo, Philippines; another companion was shot in the neck and left for dead. The perpetrators have never been found.
We saw first hand during our visits to Iloilo as documentary filmmakers how impunity works, how public officials take no responsibility for crimes like this that happen under their watch. The climate of impunity surrounding Luing’s disappearance, and that of hundreds of others, reigns to this day.
As long-time friends of the Filipino people, we join thousands around the world in demanding that this impunity end, that those responsible for the abductions of Luing, Nilo, and the disappearances and assassinations of so many others be brought to justice.
Luing was not an everyday friend. We saw her sparingly, every few years. She is among our cherished community of inspiring people, present, reliable, totally and tirelessly committed: to her people, her family, to social justice, and a better world. Luing is a person we are proud to know and even if she cannot be there in person, her daughters, friends, comrades and the countless people she touched are continuing and multiplying her efforts and her work.
April 12 is also the birthday of my own mother, Clara. She died in 1986, too young, at only 56. She lived in a different context, her commitments were closer to home, to family and friends. She is also sorely missed and continues to live through us who knew and loved her.
Marie Boti and Malcolm Guy
Montréal, Québec, April 12, 2011