Group hits P-noy annoyance on Morong 43 questions, says continued detention of illegal detention of health workers and bias towards military show signs of unhealthy democracy.
Health groups gather today to call for the release of the Morong 43. They ask President Aquino to finally stop evading the initiative which has long been asked from Malacanang and this is to withdraw the cases against the Morong 43.
In his latest pronouncement over a press conference in Alaminos, Pangasinan, President Aquino said the government cannot just release the health workers without the court’s sanctions and is not even considering the withdrawal of the cases against them.
Dr. Julie Caguiat, spokesperson of the FREE THE 43 HEALTH WORKERS ALLIANCE said, “we are not asking president to order the release of the Morong 43 thru Malacanang and not thru the courts, for it will not happen, it is the withdrawal of the cases is what we have been expecting the executive branch to do.”
The group said that President Aquino seems to be having confused statements now. P-noy complains of something executive branch cannot do which is the immediate release of the Morong 43 but it would not heed to something it can do to help the court decide in the dismissal of the case which is thru withdrawal of charges.
“If Aquino complains of having to repeatedly answer to questions on the issue of the Morong 43 as “parang sirang plaka” (like playing a broken record), then this is something we will never be tired of doing if it would mean the release of the Morong 43.”
Caguiat said “we feel sorry that the president feels exasperated over the repeated plea for him to intervene and address the issue of the Morong 43, yet we are also dismayed on the President’s irascible response. He should be reminded that the illegally detained health workers and their relatives too have long been suffering, anxious and impatient in more ways he could only imagine. After all his father was once a political detainee too, he should be the first to know.”
However, the group said the Aquino should not complain because but it his moral and political obligation to see to it that justice is extended to every citizen of this land. It is the lives and personal freedom of innocent civilians that are at stake in this case.
According to the medical professionals, continued detention of the 43 health workers is also reflective of our government’s human rights agenda. Caguiat said, if the Morong 43 would be a gauge of this government’s political integrity, then we can say that the government is showing signs of an unhealthy democracy.
Caguiat explains that Aquino’s seeming evasion of a decisive order on the issue of Morong 43 is indeed a sign of a frail administration -- a government that slowly exposes itself as subservient to military influence rather than the rule of law and civilian authority.
The group criticized Aquino for obstinately insisting on a trial while the 43’s arrest is a product of a grossly unconstitutional arrest and detention.
Ironically, while giving into the whims of the military, the President virtually persecutes innocent civilians who are involved in health services in the community.
She added that such pronouncements all the more reinforce a general public sentiment that Mr. Aquino is extra cautious of the military officials’ opinion regarding the Morong 43. If there is somebody’s opinion that the President should be wary of, it should be the Filipino people’s and not that of the military’s, the spokesperson said.
The groups continue to challenge P-noy to heed to his tireless campaign slogan which is the straight and correct or the daang matuwid . The group reminded the President, “your strength lies on the people you are suppose to serve and lead”
Groups like Alliance of All Health Organizations of the Nation (AAHON), Ang Nars, Health Action Information Network, Peoples Health Movement –Asia Pacific among other health groups joined Morong 43 s relatives and supporters in a a short program at the Solidarity Fasting Center for the Morong 43 at the Iglesia Filipina Independiente along Taft Manila in support for the 43 detained health workers who are now staging a hunger strike.
Dr. Julie Caguiat
Spokesperson, Free the 43 Health Workers Alliance
Mobile: 0909 113 3038 / 0919 486 1580 / 881-0910
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