Tuesday, May 4, 2010

GROUP CLAIMS PARTIAL VICTORY IN TRANSFER OF MORONG 43

Finally, the detained health workers known as the Morong 43 have been removed from military custody and transferred to Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan.

“This is a moral and significant victory for the detainees and their families,” said Dr. Julie Caguiat, spokesperson of the FREE THE 43 HEALTH WORKERS! ALLIANCE. The health workers, as well as their families and friends, have been on their 15th day of fasting to demand their transfer from Camp Capinpin to a civilian custodial center.

Officers of the Philippine National Police previously refused to take into custody the health workers despite a court order from the Morong Regional Trial Court, citing an alleged lack of facilities. This prompted strong condemnation from various health and sectoral groups and a more drastic show of protest from the detainees themselves.

“The situation of the health workers may not necessarily improve much,” added Dr. Caguiat. “But what is important is that they are out of military custody.”

The detained health workers, as well as the relatives, have complained of various forms of harassment instigated by the military custodians, including denial of electricity and water. Military authorities in Camp Capinpin have also repeatedly refused entry to doctors and medical teams who wanted to check the health conditions of their colleagues.

Even the relatives, who themselves experienced being harangued on a daily basis by the military every time they visited their detained loved ones, expressed some relief over the transfer.

Dr. Caguiat warns the military not to attempt to get to the health workers while they are in Bicutan. She also said that they are hopeful to get the remaining five health workers who are under pressure to come up with false testimonies against their colleagues.

The group still looks forward to the pending proceedings before the Commission on Human Rights and the Supreme Court so that the truth will be fully ferreted out into the open.

“Our fight for justice for the 43 goes on. We, together with all freedom-loving people both here in the country and abroad will continue the struggle to free the 43 health workers,” ended Dr. Caguiat.###

References:

Julie Caguiat
Spokesperson
Celphone Number: 0909 113 3038

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