By the Morong 43
The International Human Rights Week is supposed to be a celebration of our enjoyment of rights as people, regardless of age, race, color or social status. But rampant violation of human rights across the nation could never give us the reason to celebrate.
Camp Bagong Diwa, Bicutan
As we continue our hunger strike, we express our solidarity with all the victims of human rights violations in their pursuit of justice. We also share the sentiments of other political detainees who suffer because of the slow course of justice. We condemn the killing of activists and journalists who have exposed realities of society. As health workers, we lament and strongly condemn the perpetrators who raped “Florence”, a nurse, and the senseless killing of botanist Leonard Co who contributed largely to the industry of herbal medicine.
These are only some of the numerous people who became targets of state agents for the mere reason that they serve poor communities. As health workers still detained for ten months, we share their plight and their families’ struggle. It is unfortunate that the price we have to pay to render service to far-flung communities is as expensive as our own life. Our experiences tell us the irony of being harassed, tortured, jailed or killed in a so-called “democratic” society. While our constitution and international declarations all pertain to protection of human rights, we couldn’t but question the administration’s seeming indifference to us who are victims of state brutality and acts of torture.
Morong 43’s illegal detention for barely a year now should be more than enough time for justice to be rendered in our case. In spite of gross constitutional and human rights violations since the day were arrested, we patiently waited for the President’s “righteous path” to happen. Even our families and supporters have always been present in all our hardships, lobbying for our freedom and giving us the courage. Though they shed tears each day that passed that we’re still in jail, they were still hopeful, believing that our call to be free has not fallen of deaf ears.
We know that our hunger strike signifies a legitimate call, giving us the strength to continue our struggle until we are heard and freed. We therefore call on President Noynoy Aquino to rectify the errors done against us, especially the blatant HRV’s of the past regime. He should end this culture of impunity, heed the call of our people and show sincerity through concrete actions.
As we commemorate Human Rights Week, we call on the Filipino to continue the fight of those who have been killed or disappeared, and for those who still suffer because of injustice. Together, let us stand up and act for what is just and right.
Free the 43 health workers now!
Free all political prisoners!
Justice for all victims of human rights violations!