Friday, June 18, 2010

Morong 43 relatives pay visit to Aquino home to plea for the release of detained health workers

In a silent gathering, relatives of the Morong 43 paid a visit to the home of President-elect Noynoy Aquino today at Times in Quezon City.

The group delivered a letter of appeal to free the Morong 43 signed by Christian Montes, youngest son of Dr. Alexis Montes in behalf of the other kin of the detained health workers. “We are here to request to the incoming administration of President Aquino to finally address the case of the Morong 43 and the human rights violations inflicted upon them,” says the young Montes. “Ultimately, we seek that President Aquino urgently free our relatives languishing in jail for more than four months upon his assumption of office.”



The group of relatives also called on President Aquino to resolve the gross human rights violations of the outgoing administration. There have been hundreds of human rights violations, including arbitrary arrests, extrajudicial killings and political disappearances which have been in a tragically historic peak since the days of the Martial Law.

“We hope that President Aquino’s tenure would reflect a clear stand on human rights” Montes said.

Though the president was not there to personally meet the relatives, the letter was received by Mar Rodriguez, one of the media staff of President Aquino assigned to accommodate visitors at the Aquino residence.

Also present during the visit was, Ofelia Beltran, whose daughter, Jane Balleta is among the Morong 43. Beltran is the daughter of the late labor leader and then congressman, Ka Crispin Beltran or Ka Bel.

Ofelia Beltran lamented how unfortunate that two of her immediate family members have been victimized by the cruelty of the Arroyo government, then his father, this time her daughter. Ka Bel was among the famed Batasan 5 and was put in hospital arrest at the Philippine Heart Center for more than a year.

Meanwhile, Dr. Julie Caguiat, spokesperson of the FREE THE 43 HEALTH WORKERS ALLIANCE, said while they are calling for the unconditional release of all 43 health workers, at this point, they also call for the immediate release of some of the detainees with urgent medical concerns. They include 2 pregnant detainees, Judielyn Carina Oliveros and Mercy Castro, and Jane Balleta who is suffering from epilepsy. Balleta was recently hospitalized at the Philippine General Hospital.

Recently, Ecumenical Voice for Peace and Human Rights in the Philippine or Ecuvoice , a delegation of human rights defenders, presented the case of the Morong 43 at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva Switzerland.


References:

Dr. Julie Caguiat
0909-1133038
Spokesperson
FREE THE 43 HEALTHWORKERS! ALLIANCE

Philip Paraan
Media Officer
0919-4861580

Christian Montes
0922-8904526

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