Wednesday, September 4, 2013

CA to confirm promotion of military official who led the illegal arrest, detention and torture of Morong 43

The man who headed the arresting team that brought the health workers to their worst nightmares is now up for promotion. Col. Aurelio Baladad, head of the arresting team that President Aquino himself said “denied (the Morong 43) due process” is asking the Committee on Appointments that his promotion be confirmed.

The Morong 43, relatives and supporters troop to the gates of the Senate of the Philippines at 9:00 this morning to oppose the re-appointment of BGen. Aurelio Baladad because of his questionable integrity and moral fitness to assume the post he is being promoted to.

Dr. Montes said that the Morong 43 will present before the Commission on Appointments (CA) “not to establish the criminal or civil liability of Col. Baladad” but to question the military officer’s “integrity and moral fitness” to the position he is being appointed to. Dr. Montes furthered that PNoy himself acknowledged the fact in December 10, 2013 that the Morong 43’s right to due process was violated when he declared that the illegal arrest and detention of the health workers was a “fruit of the poisonous tree.” Hence, the Morong 43 should be set free.

A position that entails so much responsibility and demands utmost respect for human rights should not be entrusted to someone like Col. Baladad who is facing serious charges of human rights violations. If President Aquino has forgotten what he himself has previously acknowledged – that our human rights were violated- we have not. We are asking the Honorable Commitee not to forget as well. We are asking the Honorable Committee to DENY/WITHHOLD THE CONFIRMATION of Col. Baladad,” Dr. Montes’ statement further read.

Dr. Montes is one of the 43 health workers arrested in Morong, Rizal on February 6, 2010 and have been collectively referred to as the “Morong 43”. On the basis of a void search warrant, members of the 202nd Brigade raided the training house owned by an esteemed infectious disease specialist where they were having a “First Responders’ Training.” Like the rest of the Morong 43, he was blindfolded upon their arrest, boarded into a truck and brought to what later turned out to be Camp Capinpin in Tanay, Rizal. For 36 straight hours from the time of their rest, they were kept continuously blindfolded while being subjected to alternating episodes of intense interrogation, verbal abuse, threats to their persons and family and physical abuse including electrocution.

For several days, they were subjected to these forms of physical and psychological torture while they denied access to any member of their family and legal counsel.

After ten (10) months of detention, the criminal charges against the health workers were withdrawn paving the way for their freedom. President Aquino himself ordered the withdrawal of the charges against them. In his speech on December 10, 2010 – International Human Rights Day, President Aquino acknowledged that the Morong 43 "was denied due process."##


Opisyal na militar na namuno sa illegal sa pag-aresto, tortyur at pagkulong sa Morong 43 mapo-promote

Ang opisyal ng militar na nagdala sa 43 manggagawang pangkalusugan sa kanilang pinakamasamang bangungot ay kukumpirmahin ngayon para sa kanyang promosyon. Si Col. Aurelio Baladad, pinuno ng arresting team na tinukoy ni Pangulong Aquino noon na “nagkait (sa Morong 43) ng due process” ay humihiling sa Commission on Appointments na kumpirmahin ang kanyang promosyon.

Ang Morong 43, mga kaanak at taga-suporta ay pupunta sa Senado ngyaong ika-9:00 ng umaga upang tutulan ang re-appointment ni Col. Aurelio Baladad dahil sa kanyang kwestyonableng moralidad at integridad para sa posisyong pagtatalagahan sa kanya.

Sinabi ni Dr. Alex Montes na ang kanilang grupo ay haharap sa Commission on Appointments hindi upang ilahad ang “criminal o civil liability” ni Col. Baladad. Haharap sila upang kwestyunin ang “integridad at moralidad” ni Baladad para sa posisyong hinihingi niya. Sabi pa ni Dr. Montes, kinilala mismo ni Pangulong Aquino na ang pa-aresto at pagkulong sa kanila noong 2010 ay labag sa “due process” at ito ay “bunga ng nakalalasong puno.”

Ayon sa pahayag na babasahin ni Dr. Montes sa Commission on Appointments, “ang isang posisyon na napakalaki ng responsibilidad at respeto sa karapatang pantao ay hindi dapat ipagkatiwala sa isang taong gaya ni Col. Baladad na humaharap sa mga kaso ng paglabag sa karapatang pantao. Kung nakalimutan na ni Pangulong Aquino ang kanyang mga binitawang salita noong 2010 hinggil sa aming illegal na pagkakaaresto, kami ay hindi nakakalimot. Hinihikayat din namin na ang komiteng ito ay huwag ding makalimot sa kasaysayan. Hinihingi naming ipagkait ng komiteng ito ang kumpirmasyon sa promosyon ni Col. Baladad.”


Dr. Alex S. Montes

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