Sunday, September 5, 2010

UNCONDITIONALLY AND IMMEDIATELY FREE CARINA JUDILYN OLIVEROS AND MERCY CASTR0! FREE THE 'MORONG 43 HEALTH WORKERS AND ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS

An open letter to President Benigno Aquino, Jr.

President Aquino, we are conducting another SOLIDARITY FASTING this Saturday and Sunday (September 4-5) in support of the 'Morong 43' health workers who were illegally arrested in Morong, Rizal last February 6, tortured while detained for three months at the AFP's Camp Capinpin in Tanay, Rizal, and thereafter transferred at the BJMPs Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City, Metro Manila.

Last July 22, one of the 'Morong 43' health workers gave birth to a baby boy, but 26-year-old Carina Judilyn Oliveros was granted a mere three-month “hospital arrest” status at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), despite her just plea to be unconditionally freed on humanitarian grounds, President Aquino, what has become of the political tradition, practiced even during the dark martial law era urging the government to release nursing mothers and pregnant women political prisoners on purely humanitarian considerations? And must the sad fate of Carina Judilyn Oliveros also happen to 27-year-old Mercy Castro, another of the 'Morong 43' health workers who is due to give birth sometime next month?

Last July 6, presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda announced that MalacaƱang has ordered Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to review the 'Morong 43' case. President Aquino, it has been two months since you made that order after also meeting personally some relatives of the detained health workers. How long must the 'Morong 43' wait for you to right the serious wrong inflicted upon them by the government's counter-insurgency campaign?

President Aquino, through this solidarity fast, we also seek to follow-up on your administrations obligation to free political prisoners whose much-deserved release have been denied them despite previously-signed agreements to this effect in 2001, 2004, and 2009 between the duly-authorized Peace Panels of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front (NDF). We wish to remind you that the release of all political prisoners and the GRP's firm commitment to all its agreements with the NDF since 1992 are the best measures for the resumption of the GRP-NDF formal peace talks.

In about a month's time, your first 100 days in office will end. And so we ask: How long will you delay the process of rendering justice for those whose basic human rights were wantonly violated by the fascist Arroyo regime?

(sgd.) RAMON PATRIARCA
Detainee(Danao City Jail)
      (sgd.) ALBERTO ACERDIN
Detainee(Danao City Jail)

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