Peace Advocates for Truth, Healing & Justice (PATH) was formally organized in 2002, pioneering in its focus on human rights violations by a non-state armed group. Composed of torture survivors, families, relatives and friends of victims missing or executed during the anti-infiltration campaigns within the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA) in the 1980s, PATH seeks truth and justice from the CPP-NPA and other Left blocs involved in the anti-infiltration campaigns.
PATH believes that all non-state armed groups, including those not from the Left movement, should observe human rights in the conduct of their resistance against the State. Ultimately, PATH holds the State accountable as well for the purges, and for military atrocities during martial law and throughout successive administrations.
Goals & Objectives
PATH's goals and objectives are as follows:
1. Complete the documents of the cases of all victims during the purges and all those involved.
2. Organize a national community of human rights defenders and advocates composed of survivors, families, relatives and friends of victims during the purges.
3. Facilitate the healing of survivors as well as the families, relatives and friends of purge victims.
4. Conduct exhumations so that victims are given due respect and proper burial.
5. Conduct a comprehensive advocacy work. Its main components will be public information and campaign, solidarity-building and lobbying at the local, national and international levels.
6. Deepen and popularize the culture of human rights through artistic and popular education, productions and other cultural endeavors.
7. Come up with case studies of country experiences on the setting up of Truth and Justice Commissions and strive for the creation of a Truth and Justice Commission in the country together with other human rights organizations and individual human rights advocates.
Research & Documentation. Documents stories and produces a database of victims in aid of locating burial sites; conducts research to surface facts and circumstances of the purges; publishes materials as tools for justice campaigns; ensures confidentiality and security of records and files.
Recovery of Victims' Remains. In cooperation with the victims' kin, locates gravesites, retrieves the remains and arranges their proper burial; mobilizes the services of forensic experts and other professionals; initiates dialogues with the victims' families as well as with perpetrators.
Counseling & Therapy. Facilitates healing sessions that address the long-term trauma of surivivors and victims families; mobilizes professionals in the fields of psychology and psychiatry; builds support groups for victims and their families towards eventual closure.
Communications & Popular Education. Develops education programs, including theoretical materials and tools for reflection, that revolve around human rights and respect for human dignity; holds commemoration activities and builds memorials for the victims; develops external communications through publications and mass media.
Legal & Security. Leads in the initiation and pursuance of legal actions for victims; assist in the handling and protection of material evidence in coordination with the RVR Committee; conducts research on the possibilities of a Truth Commission; studies the implications of PATH's work on the peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the CPP-NPA-NDF; and ensures lines with established institutions that will help strengthen PATH;
Arts & Culture. Produces musical compositions, literary works, plays, video documentaries, films, and other cultural works from the stories of survivors and victims.
Organizing & Advocacy. Reaches out to survivors and victims' families in different regions and encourages solidarity in their journey towards justice and healing.
Isang araw sila'yNawala na lang at sukat. may hindi pumasok sa opisina, hindi sumipot sa appointment, nang-indyan ng ka-deyt. May hindi umuwi sa bahayat hindi nakasalong pamilya sa hapunan, hindi nakasiping ng kabiyak. ang inihaing ulam ay ligalig, at ang inilatag na banigay ayaw dalawin ng antok. Nang hanapin sila'ywalang masabiang kamag-anak at kaibigan, walang ulat ang pulisya,walang malay ang military. Kung mayroon mang nakakitanang sila'y sunggabanng malalaking lalakiat isakay sa dyip o kotse, pabulong-bulong ang saksi,palinga-linga, at kung pakikiusapangtumestigo sa korte, baka ito'y tumanggi.Pagkaraan ng ilang araw, o linggo, o buwan, o taon, pagkaraan ng maramingmaghapon at magdamag,
pagkaraang ang agam-agamay maparoo't paritosa mga manhid na pasilyoat ang pag-aasam-asamay mapanis sa mga tanggapan, pagkaraa ng luha't tiyaga, ang ilan sa kanilaymuling lumitaw. Lumitaw sila sa bilangguan, sa bartolina, sa kubling bahah na imbakanng ungol, tili at panaghoy, himpilan ng mga berdugongeksperto sa sanlibo't isangistilo ng pagpapahirap. Lumitaw silangbali ang buto o sira ang bait.
O kaya'y lumitaw silanglumulutang sa mabahong ilog, o nakahandusay sa pampang, o umaalingasawsa mga libingang mababawna hinukay ng mga asong gala. Lumitaw silangmay gapos ang kamay at paana wala nang pintig, o watak-watak ang kamay, paa, ulo, o tadtad ng butas ang bangkay,likha ng bala o balaraw. Ang iba'y hindi na lumitaw,hindi na kailanman lumitaw, nawala na lang at sukat,walang labi, walang bangkay,
hindi malaman kung buhay o patay,Hindi mapaghandugan ng lamayan, pasiyam, luksa,Hindi maipagtirik ng kandilakung Todos los Santos. Nakaposas pa ba silasa paa ng kinakalawang na kamasa loob ng kuwartong may tanod, busog sa bugbog, binabagabag ng bangungotsumisipol kung nag-iisang "San Ka Man Naroroon," Iniisip kung ano ang iniisipng magulang at anak,kasintahan o kabiyak? O sila ba'y umayaw na sa pakikibakaat nagbalik sa dating buhay, o nagtaksil sa simulainat nagtatago sa takot,
O nag-asawang muliat nangibang-bayan, O tinamaan ng amnisyaat lalaboy-laboy sa lansangan, O lihim na namundokat nag-iba ng pangalan? O sila ba'y pinagpapasasaan na ng uod? Nag-uugat na ba ang talahibsa mga mata ng kanilang bungo? Bahagi na ba silang kanilang lupang tinubuan, ang lupang kanilang pinaglaban? Sinusulat ko ito para sa mga kakilalanghanggang ngayon ay nawawala,
Para kina Charlie del Rosario at Caloy Tayag at Manny yapat Henry Romero at Jun Floresat Rudy Romano, Sila na kahit hindi ko Nakilala ng hustoay alam kong naglingkodsa api at hikahos. Buhay man sila o patay, Sa aking alaalaa'ymananatili silang buhay.
ni Jose F. Lacaba (read in the concert "Unsung" a tribute to nameles heroes last Nov. 29, 2003)
Peace Advocates for Truth, Healing and Justice (PATH) 45 Matimtiman St., cor. Magiting St., Teachers' Village East Quezon City 1101, Philippines Tel. No: (632) 921-8049 Telefax: (632) 926-2893
You can also donate to PATH by clicking on the ads below
The book about the CPP-NPA Purges
"Bobby Garcia provides a riveting account of the Communist Party of the Philippines' "killing fields" and situates it within the context of a revolutionary movement that was nobly motivated but also tragically flawed. To Suffer Thy Comrades goes beyond Garcia's narrative of his and other survivors' harrowing experiences and explains why the purges took place, how both torturers and victims coped and made sense of their plight, and how they survived in the aftermath of the purge. The book sheds light on the darkest and deepest secrets of the revolutionary movement and provides insights that are useful now that the communists are negotiating peace with the government" - SHEILA CORONEL, Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism
"...Bobby Garcia had the courage to write about the 'killing fields' despite some people's efforts to dissuade him. Bobby was one of its victims -- he was 21 when his entire future was nearly taken away from him -- who was lucky enough to survive. And who is even luckier to retain a huge sense of humor and equanimity, even when talking about his ordeal, at least with friends. His book is called "To Suffer Thy Comrades"...It is certainly not something that will set your mind at rest. But read it anyway. Its virtue is to be found in that biblical observation, 'The truth shall set you free.' - CONRADO DE QUIROS, Philippine Daily Inquirer