UPDATE (Philippines): Disappeared victim’s family afforded financial assistance and trauma counseling 


Urgent Appeal Case: UP-162-2005
ISSUES: Enforced disappearances and abductions,

[Re: FA-16-2004: Forcible disappearance of a young man in Davao City; UP-103-2005: A 13-year-old daughter of a disappeared man in Davao City suffers trauma; UP-134-2005: Social welfare department fails relatives of disappeared victim in Davao City, Mindanao]
PHILIPPINES: Disappearance; child rights; inadequate government action; social welfare

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission is pleased to inform you that Amina Ala and her daughter, Mirriam, the family of disappeared victim Sabdurah Abdullah, have been afforded with financial assistance by the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) in Davao City, Mindanao (please see our previous appeals on this case: FA-16-2004UP-103-2005). The CSWDO’s response came after the AHRC applied consistent pressure on the government to comply with what they had promised to the victims (please see: UP-134-2005).

On 6 December 2005, Amina was given a small amount of Php 2,000.00 (USD 36) as part of the livelihood assistance as promised by the CSWDO. The CSWDO also acted on the request to have Mirriam treated for trauma. Amina and CSWDO have yet to decide on the arrangements of their assistance. It was planned that CSWDO would take Mirriam to a rehabilitation center where she will be treated. Amina however, requested them to have her daughter treated in their home, as Mirriam does not want to be away from her mother for a long period of time.

While the AHRC welcomes this development, we retain some level of concern that the promised treatment will not materialise. The AHRC strongly suggests that any intervention for Mirriam must be properly discussed and mutually agreed upon by both her family and the social welfare department. We also request that the livelihood financial assistance be an ongoing allowance until the time that Amina feels that it is no longer required.

Your strong intervention is needed to pressure the local authorities, in particular the CSWDO, to seriously consider our concerns mentioned above. With regards to Sabdurah Abdullah disappearance case, please ask the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) and the Commission on Human Rights (CHR XI) to regularly update the victim’s family regarding the status of his disappearance.


Please send letter to the CSWDO to express your concern regarding the appropriate arrangement for Mirriam’s treatment as well as financial assistance to her family. Likewise, please request the local police and regional human rights commission to update the family on the status of the case of the disappeared victim, Sabdurah Abdullah.



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Dear __________,

PHILIPPINES: Disappeared victim’s family afforded financial assistance and trauma counseling

I am pleased to learn that the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) has responded to previous appeals to afford appropriate assistance to Amina Ala and her 13-year-old daughter, Mirriam, the family of disappeared victim Sabdurah Abdullah in Davao City, Mindanao.

I have learned that Amina has already been given a small amount of money as part of livelihood financial assistance promised to her by the CSWDO. The request to have Mirriam treated and placed in a government-sponsored trauma treatment has also been acted upon by the CSDWO.

While I commend the social welfare department’s positive response on this matter, I would like to register some concerns on this development.

I am aware that the CSWDO is planning to take Mirriam to a rehabilitation center. I am also aware, however, that her mother would prefer that her daughter be treated at home. Therefore, I am requesting the CSWDO to ensure that any intervention for Mirriam be properly discussed and agreed upon by her family and the CSWDO.

I further ask the CSWDO to ensure the sustainability of financial assistance to the victims. Although Amina has already been afforded money, the duration of the assistance has not been clearly determined. I ask the social welfare department to sustain its assistance as the situation requires.

Further, I also asked the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) and the Commission on Human Rights (CHR XI) to closely coordinate with the victims regarding the status of the case of disappeared victim, Sabdurah Abdullah. Both the DCPO and CHR XI must inform and closely coordinate with the family regarding any developments in this case.

I trust that you will take appropriate action on this matter.

Yours sincerely,


1. Mr. Rodrigo Duterte
City Mayor
City Government of Davao
City Hall Building, San Pedro Street
8000 Davao City
Fax: +63 082 224-5885

2. Ms. Lualhati F. Pablo
Officer in Charge
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)
Batasan Pambansa Complex, Constitution Hills
Quezon City
Tel.: +63 2 931-8101 to 07
Tel/Fax: +63 2 931-8138

3. Atty. Alberto Sipaco Jr.
Regional Director
Commission on Human Rights, Region XI
Trinity Bldg., Quimpo Boulevard, Ecoland
8000 Davao City
Tel: +63 82 298-3749
Fax: +63 82 298-2233

4. The Director 
Davao City Police Office (DCPO)
Camp Domingo Leonor 
San Pedro Street 
Davao City, 

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Desk
Asian Human Rights Commission 

Document Type : Urgent Appeal Update
Document ID : UP-162-2005
Countries : Philippines,
Issues : Enforced disappearances and abductions,