A month after the illegal arrest and detention of Morong 43:

Children call for justice for women victims of human rights violations

on the centenary of the International Women's Day

 

Quezon City

 

March 6, 2010

 

Tula: Bulaklak na Sumasabog

 

Video

 

Bonus Tracks: Kids

 

 

Photo by Raymund Villanueva, KODAO Productions    

Nanay Mameng Diunida, KADAMAY Chair Emeritus

Photo by Raymund Villanueva, KODAO Productions

 
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Morong 43 And Ampauan Massacre Cases Highlighted in Children's Press Conference
Submitted by salinlahi on Sat, 03/06/2010 - 05:19.

Morong 43 And Ampatuan Massacre Cases Highlighted
 

CHILDREN CALL FOR JUSTICE FOR WOMEN VICTIMS OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS UNDER THE ARROYO REGIME ON INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY CENTENARY

Quezon City, Philippines - A month after the illegal arrest and subsequent detention of 43 health workers in Morong, Rizal, children and relatives of the 43 detained health workers appealed to authorities, especially the Court of Appeals, to rule in favor of the 43 detained health workers.

In a press conference today, Ms. Sophia Garduce, spokesperson of SALINLAHI Alliance for Children’s Concerns aired the appeal of the detainee’s children. “As we are about to celebrate the International Women’s Day on March 8, children of the Morong 43 want their mother, sisters and other relatives to celebrate the day together with them, outside camp Capinpin and away from any harm, threat and abuse.”

Egoy, the 4 year old son of Dr. Merry Clamor, said that "ang nanay kong doktora laging nasa PGH kasi marami siyang pasyente dun... pero noon yun. Ngayon, kawawa naman ang mga pasyente ni Nanay kasi kinulong na siya. Wala naman siyang kasalanan. Paano na ang mga pasyente niya?” (My Mom is a doctor who is always in PGH because she had many patients there. But that was before. Now, her patients will suffer because she was detained. She did not commit any crime. How will her patients cope now?) He added that he misses his mother and demanded,“Palayain si Nanay!’ (Free my mother!)

The press conference was attended by sons, daughters and other relatives of 43 health workers and classmates of Egoy who gave support by shouting “Palayain si Nanay Merry!”

Garduce reiterated that the 43 health workers should be freed immediately. “We attest to the sincerity of doctors and community health workers who provide medical services to thousands of poor community folks, even in the remotest areas where government services are a total failure, and without any desire to amass wealth out of their services.” She added that Dr. Clamor also served as the vice president of a day care center run by the Parents Alternative on Early Childhood Care and Development or PAECCD, a member organization of SALINLAHI. “Nanay Merry is not only a mother to Egoy, she is also a mother to all students in the day care center as she conducts regular check ups for the children and provides medical service anytime she is needed. As the 43 health workers continue to languish under the hands of their illegal custodians and torturers, thousands of children in rural and urban poor areas are being deprived of their health services,” added Garduce.

Garduce also warned the military not to touch or approach any child or relative of the detainees. “We are alarmed over reports that the military are resorting to psychological pressure by using the detainee’s family and relatives, such as threatening harm or luring them with cash or material incentives, to implicate themselves or their co-detainees as members of the New People’s Army. We demand the military to stop this dirty tactics.”

Garduce stressed that “the impunity of the present government, ironically headed by a woman president, creates a society of orphans, traumatized children and broken families through extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearance, displacement, massacres and illegal arrest and detention. “SALINLAHI believes that Arroyo’s coddling of this culture of impunity and continued tyrannical rule is only made possible because our society is in a de facto martial rule,” She said. “For the sake of our children, this should end. As we celebrate the International Women’s day on Monday, we will march and stand together with the families in calling to FREE OUR SISTER! FREE OUR MOTHERS! FREE THE 43! and for JUSTICE NOW FOR THE 58 AMPATUAN MASSACRE VICTIMS! ###

For Reference:
Ms Sophia Garduce, Spokesperson, 0928-508-9104

 

Vince, grandson of Dr. Alex Montes, says his lolo has not committed any crime and wants him out of detention

Egoy, 4-year old son of Dr. Merry Mia Clamor, says his mother is a doctor and treats patients and wants her home to be with his 1-year old sister. With him is his father, Jigs, KARAPATAN deputy Secretary General

           

 

Flower Bomb
by Vuong Quoc Vuo

…the bomb
also
is a flower

—William Carlos Williams, “Asphodel, That Greeny Flower”


My brother, come home from war,
sits now for hours in the garden.
I see now, he says, everything
as flowers, the tendency of all things
to bloom—even the way the body bleeds,
the fire from guns, the sun unfurling
after the longest night. Everything blooms.

Brother, he says, I saw so many dead
I’ve realized the body is, after all,
above all, a fragile flowery thing.
Despite the marble column of its spine,
the great architecture of how it stands,
the arches and taut ropes of muscle,
it is easily torn apart, gunned through,
drowned, and plowed under,
how it withers with time and hunger.

When I saw the dead, I didn’t look
at faces and never, never into the eyes.
I avoided all implications of a soul, a name.
I looked at hands—those miracles of sinew
and veins—and imagined them to be leaves.
I have seen severed hands
as if they’d fallen from a tree,
hands crushed and burned crisp.
I have seen wounds on them
like purple trillium forced through the skin.
I have seen blood that spilled and splattered
like asters, the plum colors of viscera.

Brother, I have come home from Hell.
How now shall I tell the story
of Man—the wars, wars, wars
until the end of time?
How now shall I tell, my mind
already a shattering lake of glass,
my heart bullet- holed­—
to write in blood or red rose petals?
 

 

Bulaklak na Sumasabog

Salin ni Alessandro Enrico Aguilar

…the bomb
also
is a flower

—William Carlos Williams
“Asphodel, That Greeny Flower”

Ang aking kapatid, kauuwi lamang mula sa gera,
ngayo’y inaabot na ng ilang oras sa pagmumuni sa may halamanan.
Nakikita ko na ngayon, aniya, ang lahat
bilang bulaklak, ang tendensiya ng lahat ng bagay
na mamukadkad—kahit ang paraan ng katawang dumugo,
ang putok mula sa mga armas, ang araw sa pagbubukang-liwayway
matapos ang napakahabang gabi. Ang lahat ay namumukadkad.

Kapatid ko, sasabihin niya, nakita ko ang napakaraming patay,
napagtanto kong ang katawan, matapos ang lahat,
higit sa lahat, ay isang babasaging bulaklak.
Kahit na marmol na haligi ang kanyang gulugod,
magilas ang arkitektura niya sa pagkakatayo,
ang mga arko at matitibay na lubid ng kanyang kalamnan,
madali pa rin siyang mapunit, malagusan ng bala,
malunod at maararo pailalim,
kung paano siya mangalirang sanhi ng panahon at gutom.

Kapag nakakakita ako ng patay, hindi ako tumitingin
sa mga mukha, lalong-lalo na sa mga mata.
Iniwasan ko lahat ng implikasyon ng isang kaluluwa, ng isang ngalan.
Tumitingin ako sa mga kamay—iyong mga himala ng litid
at mga ugat—at iniisip kong sila’y mga dahon.
Nakita ko na ang mga putol na kamay
na wari bang sila’y napigtal mula sa isang puno,
mga kamay na durog at malutong sa pagkakapaso.
Nakita ko sa kanila ang mga sugat
tulad ng lilang trilyo na waring pilit ipinasok sa balat.
Nakita ko ang dugong nasayang, nagsaboy
tulad ng mga aster, ang kulay duhat ng mga lamang-loob.

Kapatid ko, galing na ako ng Impiyerno.
Paano ko ngayon isasalaysay ang kuwento
ng Sangkatauhan—ang mga gera, digma, mga digmaan
hanggang sa katapusan ng panahon?
Paano ako ngayon magsasalaysay, ang isip ko’y
isa nang basag na lawa ng salamin,
puso ko’y tadtad na ng butas ng bala—
ang sumulat gamit ang dugo o mga talulot ng pulang rosas?

Note: English and Pilipino versions of this poem courtesy of Jess Santiago.

 

           
  Families of detained health worders at the press conference
     

 

SALINLAHI CONDEMNS TORTURE INFLICTED BY THE MILITARY TO THE 43 HEALTH WORKERS, CALLS FOR THEIR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Submitted by salinlahi on Wed, 02/10/2010 - 05:37.

Quezon City, Philippines - A group of child rights advocates led by SALINLAHI Alliance for Children’s Concerns joined the protest in front of the Department of Defense (DND) to condemn the abduction and torture of 43 health workers by the AFP’s 202nd Infantry Brigade and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Morong, Rizal. “We condemn the illegal arrest of the health workers who are just having seminar for the betterment of poor communities especially in the far flung areas,” Sophia Garduce, the group’s spokesperson said.

Garduce also scored the military for inflicting mental and physical torture to the health workers. “The torture inflicted on them goes against all humanitarian law and the AFP once again has shown its wanton disregard for human rights by adding this to its long record of torturing detainees to extract information against their will,” Garduce said. She also added that “The health workers are innocent of all the charges labeled against them, and yet the military treats them much much worse than the kid gloves’ treatment of the detained Ampatuans.”

Garduce noted that one those detained, Dr. Merry Mia-Clamor is a PTA Vice President of the Parents Alternative for Early Childhood Care and Development, Inc. (PAECCDI), a SALINLAHI member organization. “She regularly sends and fetches their child from the day care center run by PAECCDI, and conducts medical check-ups for the children in the center. We can attest to her work as a health professional and assert that the charges against her and all the other health trainees are all false and are intended to sow terror among health professionals who are willing to serve sincerely the poor who are neglected by the government,” stated Garduce.

The group also raised their concern that among the 26 female detainees, two are pregnant. “The pregnant women need maternal health care, but with their present condition, we fear for their health and the safety of the unborn fetus,” Garduce said.

Salinlahi and its member organizations believe that the abduction and subsequent illegal detention of the 43 health workers is a desperate move of the AFP and PNP to meet the deadline set by Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, to crush the insurgency by June 2010 as dictated by their Oplan Bantay Laya. “This is a clear case of witch-hunting through trumped-up charges against perceived enemies who turn out to be innocent and sincere servants of the people. The state forces who took part in the operation to arrest the health workers are in such deep paranoia that they no longer distinguish civilians from combatants; and as such, all sectors are already their targets,” ended Garduce. ###

 

Mothers comfort their sons with photos of their detained husbands
     
     
Son and  granchild, respectively of detained doctors Merry and Alex  

Katribu Partylist and KAMP handle a certificate of appreciation to the Morong 43 health workers for their work in the hinterlands

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xAFP’S PARANOIA THREATENS NGOS’ GAIN IN ACCESS TO HEALTH SERVICES BY RURAL POOR CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES
Submitted by salinlahi on Mon, 02/08/2010 - 08:18.

NEWS RELEASE
08 February 2010
Reference: Sophia Garduce, spokesperson , 0928-5089104

Child rights advocates call for the release of Dr. Merry Mia Clamor and other Medical Personnel abducted in Rizal

SALINLAHI Alliance for Children’s Concerns and its member organizations, especially the Parents Alternative for Early Childhood Care and Development, Inc. (PAECCDI) strongly condemn the recent illegal arrest of 43 health workers and doctors, including the mother of one of the student of PAECCD day care center; Dr. Merry Mia Clamor, Vice-President of the PAECCDI Parents –Teachers Association.

According to Sophia Garduce, Spokesperson of Salinlahi, the abduction and continuous detention of 43 medical personnel in Morong Rizal, by the 202nd Infantry Brigade and the Rizal PNP is ‘absurd and unfounded’. “The Salinlahi Alliance adds its voice to the growing public demand for the immediate release of the 43 medical workers. We can particularly attest that one of them, Dr. Merry Mia-Clamor is a loving and caring mother not only to her son but to the tens of thousands of poor children in both urban and rural communities whose health and nutritional conditions are a clear testimony of government neglect.”

Salinlahi also added that the Council for Health and Development and the Community Medicine Foundation, Inc, organizers of the training have been providing free medical services to children and their parents in the communities of Salinlahi member organizations. “Medical and health workers from these organizations have been doing what the government has failed to do, that is, giving the poor and deprived families the chance to access health services,” Garduce said

The child rights group cited that the ratio of medical worker to patient is 1:29,000 and thus, many children, even in the urban areas have not seen a medical professionals much less been treated by doctor. ‘The government should even be thankful to medical workers like Dr. Clamor, and Dr. Montes others who face hardships in delivering medical services to the poor amid very little resources and despite the ongoing trend where people like them more often than not leave our country and work abroad for better income possibilities.’

Garduce also said that the AFP’s paranoia, which has previously resulted to the violation of rights of peasants, workers, lawyers and journalist, has now extended to medical workers and became another stumbling block to the Filipino people’s access to health services. “The recent raid and abduction are a threat not only to the rights of all medical workers, but most of all to the survival rights of the poorest people in far flung areas, especially children who are developmentally very much in need of adequate and quality health care.” Garduce ended. ###

h

     
     
     
     
     

March to Mendiola, March 5, 2010

Photos by Raymund Villanueva, KODAO Productions

           
     

 

Media Release
05 March 2010

“Stop Arroyo’s Fascist Rule! Free the 43 Health Workers!”
 

One month after their illegal arrest in Morong, Rizal, the 43 health workers continue to suffer from an ordeal brought upon by a desperate military, a mercenary justice department, and a fascist national government.

Health Alliance for Democracy (HEAD) today joined the families, relatives, patients, and beneficiaries of the illegally detained and tortured community health workers in a solidarity march to Malacañang to demand for justice and their immediate release.

“The systematic political repression by the Arroyo regime has now extended to health personnel, whose only ‘crime’ is to extend help and service to marginalized and forgotten communities,” declared Dr. Geneve Rivera, HEAD secretary-general.

“What is due process when those who are tasked to uphold it are the very ones who violate it? What is due process when every step of the way is subverted, every institution involved is undermined, and every bureaucrat involved is a mercenary of the Armed Forces of the Philippines?”

The health group is particularly referring to the prosecutors of the Department of Justice, who have reneged on their role as gatekeepers of justice and have become willing tools of injustice.
“First, there was the continued torture and denial of basic rights of the accused. Then, there was an inquest proceeding done without proper information and without appropriate legal counsel for the detained. Now, there is an arraignment conducted on the most dubious and flimsiest bases!”

“Despite the damning findings of the Commission on Human Rights regarding flagrant human rights violations and abuses perpetrated by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, its commander-in-chief is playing deaf and blind as she is beholden to the forces that continue to prop her detested rule.”

Under the current dispensation, whistle-blowers are hunted down as criminals, while thieves are protected and even promoted; the unarmed are considered enemies of the state; and the accused are tortured enough to become so-called “witnesses who belie their own torture”.
Such atrocities mark the Arroyo regime.

“This is the very core of fascism: when armed security forces connive with government institutions not just to deprive citizens of their rights but also to justify the most vicious forms of violence.”
“The Filipino people must come together to end this. The fascist violence wielded by Mrs. Arroyo will only become more brutal as she desperately holds on to power,” concluded Dr. Rivera.
“We demand justice now. Free the 43 health workers!” ####


References:
Dr. Geneve E. Rivera
Secretary-General, 0920 460 3712

Dr. Darby S. Santiago
Chair, 0927 473 7700


 

     
           
     
     
     
   
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A kid from the Parent's Alternative on Early Childhood Care and Development Center (PAECCD) interacts with a child of a Morong 43 detainee while the press conference featuring the testimonies of two kids of Morong detainees is going on

   
           
           
     
       
   
 
   
   
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■    Sasaturn na tayo

 

 
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