Friends, kin put up sculpture for missing Iloilo activists
By Nestor P. Burgos Jr.
8:38 pm | Sunday, September 2nd, 2012
ILOILO CITY—Families and friends of missing activists have erected a
concrete sculpture in Oton town in Iloilo where missing activists Maria
Luisa Posa-Dominado and Nilo Arado were abducted five years ago.
The sculpture, consisting of three totems 2 to 3 meters tall with a
diameter of 50 centimeters each, was unveiled on Aug. 31 to mark the
International Day of the Disappeared, along the national highway in
Barangay Cabanbanan in Oton town, about 7 kilometers from this city.
The site is where Dominado and Arado were waylaid and abducted by heavily
armed men on April 12, 2007. They remain missing.
Their families and colleagues have blamed military agents for the
abduction, pointing to the similarity with other cases in other places in
the country, an allegation repeatedly denied by military officials.
Dominado was the regional spokesperson of Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainees
Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto, an organization of former political
detainees. Arado was chair of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan for Panay Island
and leader of the farmers organization
Carved around the three spear-shaped poles are around 60 faces and the
names of 202 missing activists.
“These depict the emotions of the victims and their families and at the
same time the continued hope and struggle to find them and to be reunited
with their families,” said Oton-based sculptor Gregorio “Boy” Masculino
who was commissioned to conceptualize and carve the marker.
Seven others, mostly based in Oton, also helped in carving the marker.
These were Jessie Tilos, Mark Nativo, Rey Buenaventura, Daryll Haro, Malou
Buenaventura, Manny Haro and “Poker.”
The sculpture, which was completed in two weeks, was painted over in
black, red, orange and yellow.
Louie Posa, Dominado’s brother and spokesperson of the Save Luisa and Nilo
Movement, said the sculpture not only depicted the plight of his sister
and Arado but also of the 202 victims of enforced disappearances under the
administration of former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Posa said families, friends and colleagues of the missing activists raised
funds to put up the markers.
But he said they had mixed feelings when it was unveiled.
“It’s a constant and painful reminder that our loved ones have not
returned home and we still do not know if they will ever come back,” Posa
told the Inquirer.
But he said the families believed that the marker also symbolizes the
continued hope that they would be surfaced.
“This is not just about my sister and Nilo. This is for all the victims
and their families who feel the same way that we do,” Posa said.
Save Luisa and Nilo
At around 9:30 PM, April 12, 2007, Ma. Luisa Posa-Dominado of SELDA-Panay,
Jose Ely “Liboy” Garachico of KARAPATAN, and Nilo Arado of BAYAN- Panay
and ANAKPAWIS were on their way to Iloilo City from Antique when they were
ambushed at Brgy. Cabanbanan, Oton, Iloilo, Philippines. Their vehicle, a
Mitsubishi L200 pick-up, was overtaken by two vans. Two armed men got off
from one of the vans, shot the driver, Liboy Garachico, who was then
grabbed and thrown to the street. Witnesses saw that an unconscious Nilo
Arado was carried off to an L300 van while a resisting Ma. Luisa Posa-
Dominado was dragged to a Starex van. One of the suspects then took the
victims’ vehicle and sped off to an unknown destination along with the two
The witnesses immediately rushed to the wounded Liboy Garachico and
brought him to Iloilo Doctor’s Hospital. At around 4 AM of the next day,
the victims’ burned vehicle was found at Brgy. Guadalupe, Janiuay, Iloilo.
At the moment, both Ma. Luisa Posa- Dominado and Nilo Arado are still
missing and Garachico is still in the ICU.
The Families of the victims condemn this brutal act. We hope that our
relatives, friends and the sympathetic public will persistently support
our call for the release of Ma.Luisa Posa-Dominado and Nilo Arado and
pressure their abductors to bring them back alive and unharmed. We pray
for the complete recovery of Liboy Garachico. We demand that the
perpetrators be brought into the open to face the full force of the law.
Let us fight to stop all political repression and extrajudicial killings!
Join the SAVE MA. LUISA POSA-DOMINADO AND NILO ARADO MOVEMENT!
It has already been a year
by Tamara Michelle Posa Dominado
(15-year old daughter of Luisa)
Written: April 2008
April 12, 2007, it was also the day I lost everything. Not only did I lose
my mom, I lost my dreams, I lost my hopes, I lost my future, all my plans,
our plans, they will never be played out. That day I even almost lost my
sanity but then someone brought me back to reality. And so here I am,
still standing, breathing, living this broken life.
April 12, 2008. It has already been a year. And all I can say is that this
situation is driving me crazy. I battle with depression almost everyday.
My feelings are so fragile now that small problems or disappointments
would cause me to cry and remember better days with my mother, which would
cause me to cry more and more because I miss her so much.
My life is so different now after a year. And it is much more different to
have my sister control my life. She does things differently than my mom.
Yes, it is different now, so very different. And I cannot count how many
times I’ve hope, dreamt, and wished on stars that my mom just came home on
this day last year, safe and sound and maybe bringing along a bag of food
to eat. Then maybe today, instead of all these tears we cry for her,
instead of our disappointments, our fears, our depressions, instead of me
and my sister’s shattered dreams, our hopes, our futures, we would all be
happy, my sister, she could have studied better, she could even be a
lawyer right now, then she would be causing all you evil people a lot of
hell, and my mom, my mom would be helping all the poor, all the helpless,
she’d still be fighting for their rights, doing all she can do, giving
them all that she can give, and then, when she has the time after all
that, maybe my mom and I would be talking about my college, she’d be
helping me achieve my dreams, helping and guiding me all the way, she’d
always find the time for everyone even when there’s no time to spare. We’d
still be hearing her voice, hear her loud, booming laugh, see her smile
even when she has a million problems to think about. She would still be
here for us.
But instead of a happy ending, no, you had to take her away from us; you
had to take her for all your selfish greedy needs. You, whoever you stupid
people are, did not think that she had a family that needs her, and if you
did think, which I think you did, I know you hoped that we’d suffer like
this, that we’ll be more afraid, we’d fear you, we’d cower before you with
our tails between our legs. But you know what? Who are you to be feared?
Can’t you see? Angry, suffering, people fear nothing.
Me? I am angry. I loathe every one of you who forced us into this life. I
swear, just a few more disappointments, a few more shattered dreams, I’ll
lose my sanity. But I’ll try my hardest not to. I need to be strong, to be
brave. I know that’s what my mom would want. She’ll be disappointed if I’m
not. She wasn’t afraid of you and neither am I. Scare me with your guns
and your death threats and everything you’ve got. I won’t afraid. You
already took everything from me.
Whoever did this to my mom and tito and all the countless others who have
suffered the same fate. You should be ashamed of what you’re doing. Even
I, a 15 year old, know that what you did was wrong. And aren’t you ashamed
that you still need a 15 year old to tell you that what you did was wrong?
What? Are you gonna tell me that what you did was for the good of the
nation? Cause I can’t see any good in abducting innocent people who unlike
you, are, helping the nation. Can’t you see that for yourselves? What are
you 2 years old or something?
Whoever you are, I wish that you have a good life anyways. I hope you live
a better life with your families. I hope your families won’t be forced
upon a life like we have had. I also hope that your sons and daughters
won’t grow up to be like you, stupid, apathetic, and cowardly individuals.
And after living your life and teaching your children not to be like you,
when you’re already too old and have had enough of all the bad things that
you’ve done and have had given enough to your families to sustain their
future, well, there would be nothing else but to hope that you die… and
burn in hell…
From Edgar Posa
. . . well , what can i say ? ... i don't know where to begin with , but
nonetheless ... let me ponder upon a story that LOLA "LIL" used to read
when i was NICOLE's age ... it was about the little red hen with her farm
friends the cat , the dog , & the cow ...
one day while walking the little red hen found a sack full of grain of
seeds asked her friends who will plow the fields ? not i said the cat ,
not i said the dog & not i said the cow .... very well then , i will said
the little red hen ....after days of plowing the field & ready to be
planted the little red hen agaian ask her friends
who will plant the seeds ? ... not i said the cat , not i said the dog , &
not i said the cow
very well then i will said the little red hen ..... a week after the seed
started to grow & needs water .. then again the little red hen ask her
friends who will the plants ? not i said the cat , not i said the dog ,
not i said the cow ... very well then i will said the little red hen
.....to make thew long story short .... the wheat was harvested , milled ,
turned into flour & made into bread . . . .
moral of the story is " getting the job done " .... UNTIL THE DAY OF HER
ABDUCTION YOUR NANAY WAS TRYING , DOING & GETTING THE JOB DONE ..... which
goes to show that ... the struggle doestn't stops there .... the job isn't
done yet ......
a TREE lives, a TREE dies ... the FOREST stays forever !! to GING ...
wherever you maybe , whatever "they" may have done to you ......the POSA
clan will be missing you so much , especially on this day .... MORE POWER
WE LOVE YOU !! ............................MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMmwahugz!
Ang Gabriela Women's Party ay nagpupugay kay Luisa Posa Dominado. Ang
53 taon ng kanyang buhay na ating ginugunita ngayon ay puspos sa
paglilingkod sa sambayanan at sa mamamayan.
Walang pag-iimbot niyang ibinigay ang kanyang kakayahan, lakas at
talino sa pakikibaka. Kung kapiling natin siya ngayon, tiyak na mas
marami pang taon ng paglilingkod sa bayan ang kanyang iaalay.
Sa ating paggunita kay Luisa at sa kanyang mga naging ambag, sana'y
higit tayong makakuha ng lakas para ipagpatuloy ang laban ni Luisa at
Nilo at ng marami pang desaparecidos, para sa hustisya. Magpahanggang
sa kasalukuyan, laluna sa pagpapatupad ng Oplan Bantay Laya ng
rehimeng US-Arroyo, ang mga kababaihan at ating mga pamilya ay patuloy
na dinadahas at pinagkakaitan ng mga batayang karapatan. Ang ating
pagpupunyagi sa paggigiit ng ating mga karapatan at pakikibaka para sa
tunay na kalayaan, demokrasya at kapayapaan.
Sa iyo, Luisa, ganap kang maituturing na Gabriela ng iyong panahon.
Maligayang kaarawan sa iyo. Tuloy ang laban!
Rep. Liza Largoza Maza
Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan
Cristina Palabay, Secretary General