Communist Party of the Philippines welcomes order for release of the Morong 43, demands end to human rights abuses

International delegation of lawyers visit the Morong 43 at an army base

From http://www.phippinerevolution.net
[The Morong 43 are health workers who were arrested in February 2010 by units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines while they were attending a seminar in the coastal town of Morong in Rizal Province. The army accused them of being members of the banned New People’s Army.–Frontlines ed].

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today welcomed President Benigno Aquino’a order for the Department of Justice to withdraw charges against the Marong 43 as a boost of goodwill for the forthcoming resumption of peace negotiations.

Formal peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) are scheduled to resume in February 2011, in Oslo, Norway.

The withdrawal of charges against the Morong 43 is expected to be finalized by the DOJ [Department of Justice]  on Monday and pave the way for the immediate release of the detained health workers. Aquino’s order came weeks after repeatedly insisting that he cannot do anything except to await the court’s action, despite recognizing defects in the arrest of detainees and despite the fact that they have yet to be brought to court.

“The CPP and the revolutionary forces congratulate the Morong 43, their families, colleagues and supporters for their tenacious struggle and outstanding victory. These serve as inspiration in the fight of thousands of other victims of military abuses to defend their rights and in the effort to seek redress for the grave injustices inflicted on them by the puppet reactionary state and its fascist forces.” Continue reading

Human Rights lawyers from 10 countries visit Morong 43, hear of squalid jail conditions

International rights lawyers outside maximum security jail.

[The Morong 43 are health workers who were arrested at a community health care training seminar in Rizal province, and were falsely accused of being members of the New People’s Army.-ed]

“It’s amazing to see how strong you are despite everything that had happened to you…It’s fantastic. I am moved and it has given me more encouragement to take your case,” Michael Gooding, a lawyer from United Kingdom, told the Morong 43.

By RONALYN V. OLEA, Bulatlat.com, September 22,2010

MANILA — They came to express their solidarity with the Morong 43, but were instead inspired and moved by the militancy of the detained health workers.  Fifteen lawyers from Haiti, France, Costa Rica, United Kingdom, India, Sri Lanka, Belgium, Canada, Pakistan and Indonesia visited the Morong 43 detainees at the Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City, Sept. 20.

The 43 health workers were arrested by 300 combined elements of the police and military on Feb. 6 in Morong, Rizal while conducting a health skills training. The Morong 43 were held in military captivity at the Camp Capinpin for almost three months before they were transferred to a regular detention facility at Camp Bagong Diwa.

The 15 lawyers, meanwhile, were delegates to the recently concluded Fifth Conference of Lawyers in Asia and the Pacific (Colap V) held in Manila.  “We are here to send solidarity greetings from almost 300 lawyers. The whole world is now watching your case,” Jeanne Mirer, president of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) told the Morong 43 detainees. Delegates of the Colap V unanimously adopted a resolution calling for the immediate release and dropping of charges against the Morong 43. Continue reading

Philippines: Morong 43 and 100 other political prisoners nationwide stage protest fast

Filipinos here and abroad call for their immediate release

BY KARAPATAN

September 17, 2010

QUEZON CITY – More than a hundred political prisoners in various detention centers all over the country staged a protest fast to press for their immediate release, and supported by their relatives and human rights advocates.

Around 148 political prisoners from 20 detention facilities in the National Capital Region, Ifugao, Isabela, Tuguegarao City, Bohol, Danao City, Cebu City, Bacolod City, Tacloban City, Leyte Provincial Jail, Compostela Valley, Bukidnon and Cagayan de Oro joined in protest of their continued unjust incarceration. High profile detainees from Camp Crame and the 43 health workers in Camp Bagong Diwa lead the protest fast of political prisoners in Metro Manila that also includes prisoners in New Bilibid Prison, Camp Karingal, and Correctional Institute for Women.

Meanwhile the relatives of the Morong 43 [imprisoned community health workers and doctors falsely accused of being members of the New People’s Army–ed.], supporters and human rights advocates also staged a sympathy fast in front of the Ninoy Aquino monument in Quezon Avenue. President Aquino’s father, Ninoy Aquino, himself was a former political prisoner during the Marcos dictatorship. Continue reading

Torture in the Philippines rears its ugly head anew


Ang Bayan,  August 21, 2010

Recently revealed video footage showing a police officer torturing a suspected criminal is vivid proof that torture is a policy of the military and police in the Philippines. Thus said Melissa Roxas, a Filipino-American activist arrested in Tarlac in May 2009 on allegations that she was a member of the New People’s Army.

Roxas was tortured for six days by elements of the 7th IB before she was released. In an interview in the US, Roxas said that torture has been part of the interrogation process of the military and police in the Philippines. She added that there are many more cases of torture which have not, however, been documented through video. Continue reading