IN ARGENTINA during the “Dirty War” in the mid-1970s, the military loaded tortured university students onto helicopters and pushed them into the stormy South Atlantic.
We have not yet come to that, thank god. But the statistics are mounting, as almost every week activists and journalists are murdered or abducted. The dirty war is a grim reality that is unfolding, especially in the countryside.
Like many institutions, the University of the Philippines (UP) as a community has been slow in reacting to the spread of the dirty war. But when its very own were swept up in the dragnet, it finally reacted. Sherlyn Cadapan, an outstanding athlete, is with the College of Human Kinetics. Karen Empeno is a student at my unit, the Department of Sociology of the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy. Both Cadapan and Empeno were picked up by masked men with long firearms at 2 a.m. in Hagonoy town in the province of Bulacan, just north of Manila, along with a male companion from the same area.