Sunday, April 25, 2010

AFP, PNP Handling of Morong 43 is a Post-Election Preview

Health Alliance for Democracy (HEAD)
2/F Doña Anita Bldg
284 E. Rodriguez Ave., Quezon City
Telefax: (02) 725 4760
Email: headphil@gmail.com


Health Alliance for Democracy today warned candidates and political parties participating in the 2010 elections regarding the probable actions of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police in any post-election scenario.

According to Dr. Geneve Rivera, HEAD secretary-general, both the AFP and PNP have shown very little respect for the rule of law and the primacy of civilian authority, as seen by their handling of the detained health workers known as the Morong 43.

“Candidates and their political parties, as well as groups who pin their hopes on the results 2010 elections, must heed the omens of AFP and PNP insubordination. Both the AFP and PNP refuse to submit themselves to legally mandated authorities, which portend what they will do post-elections.”

The health group believes that if the AFP and PNP are allowed to defy civilian authorities now, as what they are doing with the Morong 43, then these two armed institutions will continue to do so if election results are not to their liking.

“The military has consistently defied the courts. They first refused to obey the Court of Appeals during the writ of habeas corpus hearings. Now they are defying the Regional Trial Court of Morong, Rizal by refusing to transfer custody to the PNP.”

“The AFP has also questioned the jurisdiction of the Commission on Human Rights, a constitutionally-mandated body. Military officers even belittled the CHR and its threat to hold them in contempt.”

Similarly, PNP officers have colluded with the military by allowing flagrant violations of due process that led to the arrest and detention of the 43 health workers. The PNP has also twice refused to take into custody the 43 despite court orders.

“The AFP and PNP have tested the waters and found it very accommodating. They have seen how easily they can get away with their abuses. They also know that they can use the courts and the Department of Justice in their favor.”

“These are tell-tale signs of things to come. Those who are vigilant about their votes should also be vigilant about how these alleged guardians of law and order have appropriated unto themselves the power to subvert civilian authority.” ###


References:

Dr. Geneve E. Rivera
Secretary-General
Cellphone Number: 0920 460 3712


Dr. Darby S. Santiago
Chair
Cellphone Number: 0927 473 7700

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