THE REGIONAL STATE PROSECUTOR
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (DOJ)
It has been more than five months since the Aquino Government publicly announced the possibility of releasing all political prisoners by having their cases reviewed by the Department of Justice, allow us to quote relevant news accounts on the matter to wit:
“Malacanang yesterday said it is open to the idea of a General Amnesty to all political prisoners as proposed by former Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr., but made it clear that this would have to be subjected to a thorough review first”, (Palace may free more detainees, Coloma says thorough review needed; Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI); 2010 December 13; p.1)
“We have thought of that (review of cases of political prisoners) but we haven’t had the time to really put the mechanisms in place. But we have thought of that already”, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said in an interview last week (NPA Leader Not a Peace Talks Adviser, Insists Gov’t; Philippine Daily Inquirer; 2011 January 24; p.7)
We, therefore would like to formally ask your office for developments regarding this preview, especially since the human rights groups Karapatan had already provided the DOJ National Office an updated list of political prisoners in early March this year.
As about 80% of the 350 political prisoners in the country today were arrested, tortured and detained during Arroyo’s nine-year reign, we hope as an imperative of justice and accountability that the P-Noy Administration through the DOJ will be able to rectify the wrong done to us by the past regime’s brutal Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL) counter-insurgency campaign, as a consequence of our active role in opposing the GMA Presidency’s corrupt, murderous and immoral rule.
We believe that political prisoners deserve at least the same swift release as that so willingly given to the so-called military rebels implicated in the 2003 Oakwood Mutiny, 2006 Fort Bonifacio stand-off and the 2007 Manila Peninsula siege.
To dramatize our call for the review of cases of all political prisoners, we are going to hold a one week- fasting from April 17 (Palm Sunday) to 23 (Black Saturday), subsisting only on water and five biscuits daily on said rates.
Very respectfully yours,
|ALBERTO M. ACERDIN||RAMON M. PATRIARCA|
|DANAO CITY JAIL||DANAO CITY JAIL|