Monday, November 1, 2010

What is preventing President Aquino to order the release of the Morong 43?

Joint Statement of Migrante chapters in the Middle-East and the OFWs Muslim-Christian Alliance for Justice and Peace in the Philippines [MCA-JPP]

Migrante chapters in the Middle East and the Saudi-based coalition of OFW Muslims and Christians advocates for Justice and Peace in the Philippines (MCA-JPP), join the calls of various sectors in the Philippines as well as of different international human rights organizations abroad, for Pres. Aquino to immediately release the Morong 43 who have been illegally detained since February 6.

The 43 health workers who are conducting community health trainings at the farmhouse of UP College of Medicine Professor Dr. Melecia Velmonte have been raided by the elements of the 202 Infantry Brigade of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and thereafter charged them of illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

November 6 marks the 9th month in detention of the 43 health workers.

Human rights lawyers and legal luminaries believed that the manner of the arrest and the filling of trumped up charges against the 43 health workers showed gross violations of the constitutional rights of the 43 against illegal arrest and detention.

In fact, the Philippine Justice department Secretary had already made her recommendation after the President himself asked her to review the case of the Morong 43, months ago. Justice Secretary Leila De Lima has indicated that her recommendation will lead to the release of the 43 health workers.

Even the President had also said during a press conference that the search warrant is defective, but he is quick to add that the 43 health workers release will have to be sanctioned by the courts.

Now we asked what is preventing the President to issue an order for the immediate and unconditional release of the Morong 43? He could instruct the Justice department to file a motion to withdraw the cases filed against the 43, which are fabricated charges anyway!”

It seems, indicative of the actuations of the President, he is not willing to act on the case of the 43 health workers despite that he has the mandate to implement and defend the Constitutional provisions guaranteed in the 'Bill of Rights' especially if it is to correct a mistake committed by any Executive branch agency, personnel or the AFP itself under his command.

Or he is still awaiting the “green light” from its US-imperialist master in its continued adherence to US “war on terror” and counter-insurgency policy especially that the 43 health workers have been wrongly accused by the AFP of being members of the New Peoples Army?

If the President is looking for political gains out of political concessions just like what he had done in granting amnesty to about 400 military coup plotters, then he is acting on his own and his administration's interests and not of the people, not of the 43 health workers and other political prisoners.

The President should be reminded of the ‘democratic ideals and aspirations’ his parents stood for, and he should realize that and move to order the immediate and unconditional release of the Morong 43 and all political prisoners in the country who have been victim of fabricated charges.

Migrante chapters in the Middle East and the OFWs Muslim-Christian Alliance in Saudi Arabia will simultaneously hold their respective press conferences and indoor protests starting from November 2 to 6, coinciding the 9th month in detention of the 43 health workers and the BAYAN-led internationally coordinated action, to press hard the Aquino govt. to effect the immediate and unconditional release of the Morong 43.


-Migrante chapters in the Middle East and the OFWs Muslim-Christian Alliance for Justice and Peace (MCA-JPP)

Reference:
John Leonard Monterona
Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator
Convenor, OFWs Muslim-Christian Alliance for Justice and Peace in the Philippines
Mobile No.: 00966 564 978 012

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