Tuesday, July 6, 2010

President Aquino urged to immediately release pregnant and ailing health workers among Morong 43

Today is a very sad day. It marks the fifth month of detention of the 43 health workers, it marks five months of being incarcerated without any legal basis, and it marks the month where Judielyn Carina Oliveros, 26 years old and one of the Morong 43, is about to give birth to her child – inside Camp Bagong Diwa. Mercy Castro, 27, another detainee and one of the 43 is also due to give birth in October – also inside Camp Bagong Diwa.


“Judielyn Carina Oliveros and Mercy Castro of are expected to give birth soon, free them now!” This was the urgent plea of relatives and supporters of the Morong 43 under the FREE THE 43 HEALTH WORKERS! ALLIANCE.

According to Dr. Julie Caguiat, spokesperson of the group, they urge the Aquino government to immediately release the 43 illegally detained health workers especially the pregnant and ailing detainees.

“At this point, medical and health issues should outweigh all the legalities of the custodial detention, they must be released under humanitarian considerations to show that the state at least have respect for human rights.” She recalled that President Noynoy Aquino’s father Benigno Aquino II, who was then a political prisoner under Marcos dictatorship, was himself allowed to have an emergency bypass operation for humanitarian reasons.

Dr. Caguiat says “not just for the Morong 43 but for every detainee for that matter, the state is obliged to accord all detainees decent conditions and just welfare while in prison. Unfortunately, that is not the case.”

The doctor reveals that present detention of the female detainees is cramped and damp making the pregnant women and the rest of the detainees susceptible to infectious diseases. It would be of best consideration to have pregnant and ailing detainees released.

The dismal conditions of the detention have also in fact been identified as a trigger to the epileptic seizures of Balleta.

The group also calls for urgent medical attention to some of the detainees who are also suffering from various health concerns exacerbated by sorry conditions of the prison facilities.

Caguiat said that for 5 months now, the health workers have suffered long enough. “Although, they are no longer subjected to physical and psychological torture inflicted by the military in Camp Capinpin, their present conditions of being detained under false charges and being away from the their families and people they serve remain an ordeal.”, Caguiat said.

FREE THE 43 HEALTHWORKERS ALLIANCE challenges the new Aquino administration to begin genuine nation building by giving justice to the victims of the Arroyo regime.#
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