This day marks a year since UP students Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan were adbucted by alleged members of the military in Bulacan. I went to a press conference in Palma Hall regarding the anniversary this morning. Listening to the two students’ mothers can be heart-wrenching. A group of UP students and visiting students from different countries in Asia, together with Karen and Sherlyn’s mother, went to a military base in Balanga, Bataan the day before. When the military men were asked if the two UP students were at the base, they neither denied nor affirmed the accusation.
The mother of Sherlyn talked first. She expressed a slight hint of gratitude with reports of sightings of her daughter. Sherlyn was two months pregnant when she was abducted, and her mother believes that now, her grandchild is also held in detention. Karen’s mother was more in grief however, because there had been no reports of sightings, and she fears that her daughter is already dead. It was particularly tragic when she wept and said, “kahit katawan lang ng anak ko ilabas n’yo…” This commemoration of the two UP students disappearance prove to be more relevant in light of the incoming implementation of the “Human Security Act” in a few weeks.