Monday, November 29, 2010

Morong 43 release now DoJ’s call

Letter to the Editor
Philippine Daily Inquirer

I WRITE in reference to the letter of Rosauro B. Canlas. (“Morong 43 case for court to decide,” Inquirer, 11/15/10) If indeed Canlas is a health worker as she claims to be, it makes us very sad to read a fellow colleague parroting the blatant lies and contentions of the Armed Forces of the Philippines regarding the issue of the Morong 43. Canlas should be enlightened on the truth behind the Morong 43’s arrest.

For the record, the health workers were training in a farmhouse owned by a renowned infectious disease specialist and professor emeritus of the University of the Philippines College of Medicine. The training facility is well-known among health professionals and medical students as it has been used for significant functions of the medical community—contrary to Canlas’ claim that the place was “undisclosed.” Moreover, the explosives and subversive documents that Canlas alleged to have been found in the possession of the 43 health workers are exactly what President Benigno Aquino III himself refers to as “fruits of the poisoned tree.” Because the “pieces of evidence” were wrongfully gotten by virtue of a defective search warrant, the case cannot prosper in court.

By sheer logic and jurisprudence, a person must be assumed innocent until proven guilty. Disappointingly, present realities and rising statistics of brazen human rights violations prove otherwise.

To say that the court now has exclusive jurisdiction over the case is preposterous. In truth, by President Aquino’s affirmation that the arrest and detention of the 43 were illegal and baseless in the first place, the Department of Justice can now motu proprio withdraw the information or cases filed against them and should desist from initiating any further actions against them.

The 43 do not deserve another day in prison. Free the 43 health workers, free all political prisoners now!

Executive Director,
Council for Health and Development,

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Justice for the 43!