Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Morong 43 files case before GRP – NDF Joint Monitoring Committee to seek redress for human rights violations

The Council for Health and Development files an official complaint of human rights violations on the Morong 43 before the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front (NDF).

CHD is the national organization of community based health programs in the country which hosted the medical training where the Morong 43 were illegally arrested and charged with trumped –up charges.

Dr. Eleanor Jara, CHD’s executive director and one of the conveners of the FREE THE 43 HEALTHWORKERS ALLIANCE said that turning to the Joint Monitoring Committee is an apt and crucial step in obtaining justice for the Morong 43.

Dr. Jara said “nearly six months since the Morong 43 were arrested and the wheels of justice have been grinding slow on our detained colleagues. For these innocent health workers, being held each day more in detention is a continuing torture and a serious injustice.”

The group said while they are engaged in various legal actions including petition for the writ of the habeas corpus in the Supreme Court which is now on appeal, complaint filed at the Commission on Human Rights, they are now exploring all ‘lawfully available’ venues to seek the release and justice for the detained health workers. The group has also sought the help of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva Switzerland.

Filing the complaints before the NDF-GRP Joint Monitoring Committee is an opportune engagement to raise the gross human rights violations of illegal arrest and detention committed by state parties including the military and elements of the justice department of the past Arroyo administration.

Pursuing this venue is but appropriate because the state is obligated to adhere to the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Laws (CARHRIHL) whose provisions were violated in this case.

CARHRIHL was signed in 1998 during the Estrada Administration between the government and the National Democractic Front to guarantee protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms of Filipinos and is also being monitored by Norway as a third party observer.

“Within this framework, we look forward to the independent and credible investigations which could properly identify the abuses and breaches of human rights laws in the case of the 43.”

“We also hope by taking this venue, our much awaited search for justice can be found. As for the Aquino government, this is a serious challenge to take - to desist from a policy of impunity of the previous Arroyo administration.”**
Reference:

Dr. Eleanor A. Jara
Convener
FREE THE 43 HEALTH WORKERS ALLIANCE

Executive Director
Council for Health and Development (CHD)
Contact No. 0928 445 1293 / 929 8109

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