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The April 12 CHR Hearing,

and Documentary ---  text and video   --  of the illegal arrest and illegal detention

of the 43 health workers known as Morong 43

 

April 18, 2010

 

■   Video

 

■   Fasting until  transferred to police jail

 

■   Bonus Tracks

 

 

   
   
/p

/p
 
           
      ▼ Picket rally at the  CHR Hearing, April 12, 2010  ▼

 

Docuyment #1

 

CHRONOLOGY OF COMPLAINANTS’/DETAINEES’ EXPERIENCES

 

 

Feb.  1, 2010

 

 

The Council for Health and Development (CHD)[1] and the Community Medicine Foundation (COMMED)[2] sponsored a Community First Responders’ Training[3] from February 1-7, as a result of the disasters caused by super typhoons Pepeng and Ondoy.  The training was held at the farm house of Dr. Melecia Velmonte, chairperson of the board of COMMED.

 

The participants of the training arrived in several batches in the morning.  The participants came from areas commonly affected by disasters, including the National Capital Region, Southern Tagalog, Bicol and Central Luzon.  The training started late in the afternoon with an orientation.

 

Feb.  2-5, 2010

 

 

The first four days of the training was conducted by Dr. Alexis Montes and Dr. Merry Mia-Clamor.  Assisting them was Teresa Quinawayan, a midwife and field assistance staff of CHD.  Dr. Montes discussed Basic Life Support and Basic Principles in Trauma Management.  Dr. Mia-Clamor talked on Pharmacology.  

 

Late afternoon, Gary Liberal, an operating room nurse of the Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center arrived for his topic Nursing Skills and Techniques to be discussed the following day.

 

In the evening, Dr. Melecia Velmonte lectured on Management of Trauma Infections on the Community Level.  

 

 

Feb.  6, 2010

 

 

In the early morning, around 5:30-6:00, while the health workers were preparing to start the last day of their community health training, approximately 100 to 300 armed soldiers and policemen barged into the farmhouse of Dr. Melecia Velmonte at No. 266, Dela Paz Street, Maybangcal, Morong Rizal, conducted an illegal search and thereafter illegally arrested 43 doctors, nurses, midwives and volunteer community health workers.

 

At the time of the illegal search and arrest, all the 43 participants were each doing their respective morning routine and rituals or tasks at different locations of the farmhouse before the start of the session for the day at 7:00 am. Some were still asleep or in bed while others just woke up, others were making their beds or were still in the sleeping quarters, some were exercising outside the house, still others were cooking or preparing for breakfast, others were taking breakfast or just had breakfast at the kitchen, some were preparing to take a bath, taking a bath or just got out of the comfort rooms, and still others were cleaning the session hall.

After the arrest, the 43 health workers were made to board vehicles. They were handcuffed with plastic wires and blindfolded with cloth reinforced by packing tape for more than 36 hours. They were first brought to an undisclosed place in one large room before they were eventually brought to the detention facility of the 2nd Infantry Division and 206th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army in Camp Capinpin, Tanay, Rizal. No one of the 43 Complainant-Detainees, at any time from the time of their arrest and detention up to now, has been apprised of their Miranda rights.

 

The Complainants-Detainees were repeatedly interrogated without counsel of their choice, subjected to various forms of coercion, threats, harassments, intimidation and indignities as well as psychological torture and deprived of sleep. They were refused their right to counsel of their own or their relatives’ choice for six days. A number of them were subjected to various forms of physical torture. (Please see Affidavits dated Feb 21, 2010 and attached to the CHR Complaint dated 25 Feb 2010.)

 

The respective recollections and individual accounts of the Complainants-Detainees are as follows:.............

 

     
     
           

 

Notes on the various documents on Morong 43

 

Please find attached
:
1) Chronology of Experiences of the 43 Filipino health workers known as "Morong 43";
2) Addendum to the Chronology;
3) Chronology of Experiences of Relatives and Human Rights Defenders;
4) Chronology of accounts of doctors;
5) Primer; and
6) Article by Prof. Boehringer on the Court of Appeals decision.

Documents 1, 3 and 4 were prepared and submitted on April 8 by way of compliance with the Order of the Philippine Commission on Human Rights (CHR), which would hold another hearing tomorrow on the complaints for various violations of human rights on the Complainants-Detainees.

Document 1 is of particular significance and interest because it recounts in painful detail, based on the 43 health workers' own comprehensive individual and collective recollections reduced into sworn statements, from day one to today, their harrowing experience and the repeated interrogations without counsel of their choice mostly during the night, the various forms of coercion, threats, harassments, intimidation and indignities, the psychological and physical torture, and the deprivation of sleep at the hands of their captors.

I
 

t will help the reader also understand the context and circumstances why and how 5 of them are now segregated, isolated from the 38, refused to be given access to their counsel of choice, and are being misrepresented by the military as having "confessed."

Please help us spread the truth.
Kindly disseminate them widely.
Feel free to use these as you deem fit in any way.

Apologies for the grammatical errors and the vague references given the time constraints.

Thank you.

National Union of Peoples' Lawyers (NUPL) and the
Public Interest Law Center (PILC),
Counsels for the Morong 43

by:

Edre U. Olalia
NUPL Acting Secretary General

     
           

 

Document #2

 

CHRONOLOGY OF THE EXPERIENCES OF THE DETAINEES’ RELATIVES

 

 

In compliance with the directive of the Honorable Commission, the relatives of the detainees together with their lawyers and support organizations in the health sector had a meeting on March 28, 2010 to discuss the chronology of their experiences in connection with the subject matter of the instant complaint. 

The following narration is the result of the said meeting and plenary session: 

 

DATE

NARRATION

 

 FEB  6

·        At around 1:00 pm, the Quick Reaction Team – composed of Atty. Ephraim Cortes, Olive Bernardo of Karapatan, Dr. Edelina dela Paz of Health Action for Human Rights (HAHR), Dr. Genieve Reyes of Health Alliance for Democracy (HEAD), and Roneo Clamor of Karapatan (who is also the husband of Dr. Merry Mia Clamor) – went to the Public Safety Management Office, and to the Provincial Headquarters of the Philippine National Police, 419 Provincial Group, Baras, Morong. A police official told the team that he has no knowledge of any operation, and that no one was recently detained in their headquarters.

·        The Team proceeded to Camp Capinpin to search for the 43 health workers.  They arrived at the Camp around 2:00 pm, along with some of the relatives of the victims. Gary Liberal’s relatives, Atty. Apuhin and his wife, also arrived around 3:00 pm.

·        The Team noticed that two men in civilian clothing riding a motorcycle in tandem have been following the Team from Morong to Camp Capinpin. They were able to confirm that the two men were members of the AFP when they saw Msgt. Uriel Gacer (MP) talked to these men when they arrived at the Camp.

·        The Team and relatives talked to Msgt. Gacer at the main gate who told them, “Tatanungin namin sa loob.  Walang information.” (We’ll ask inside. We have no information.)

·        Between 4:00 and 5:00 pm, a white Mazda vehicle with tinted windows bearing the plate number WBB 868 exited the camp at the main gate. The front license plate of the said vehicle was covered. The Team noticed that a passenger of the vehicle was taking a video of the team and the relatives when it passed by the group on its way out of the camp.  

·        At around 4:00 to 5:00 pm, an ABS-CBN TV news crew arrived. Col. Lutero went to the main gate and told the reporter Ms. Cecilia Lardizabal, “Nasa loob sila, under investigation.” (They are inside because they’re under invesitation).

·        Lardizabal was allowed to enter the Camp and Dr. Reyes joined her.  However, when Dr. Reyes was recognized by the soldiers as a member of the Team, he was escorted out of the camp. The Team and the relatives waited until 7:00 p.m. but the military continued to refuse them to enter the Camp.............

 

 

    Click here for the continuation and full report

 

 

     
           
     

 

Dpciumemt #2

Addendum to the Chronology of Morong 43

 

 

April 7, 2010

(Wednesday)

Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Morong issued an Order granting the transfer of 38 of the Complainants-Detainees to the PNP Camp Crame in Quezon City but adopting the position of the military, over the objection of the Complainants-Detainees’ lawyers, that five of the segregated detainees (Barrientos, Carandang, Paulino, Pizarro and Tawagon), remain in the custody of the military at Camp Capinpin in Tanay. Rizal

April 8

(Thursday)

Complainant-Detainee Samson Castillo was challenged around 9:00 am by Maj. Tabion to perform 50 push-ups each with the loser to be boxed by the winner 50 times. (Castillo executed and signed a handwritten statement on this point.)

 

The RTC clerk of court Atty. Amado Javier, accompanied by the Complainants-Detainees lawyers Attys. Anton Principe and Dixon Ayon-ayon of PILC and relatives, personally served on the military officials the Order of RTC Morong at around 11:00 am.

 

Warden Maj. Tabion/Navarro, Capt. Maladia and Lt. Celeste Frank Sayson received the Order and said they will comply, subject to processing and logistical preparations.Maj. Tabion told Jigs Clamor, husband of Complainant-Detainee Dr. Clamor, that defense lawyer Atty. Olalia is probably also an NPA just like his clients because he used an “alias” in his earlier TV interview with Channel 2. Mr. Clamor, who is deputy Secretary General of Karapatan, said that that was an obvious inadvertent mistake of the network in mixing up the names of the persons the reporter interviewed and in wrongly designating Atty. Olalia with the name of the Public Information Officer of Karapatan who was likewise interviewed with him at the same time.

 

At around 5:00 pm, Complainant-Detainee Eulogio Castillo was spoken to by Lt. Cabading and said that she (the latter) should not have been included in the Supplemental Complaint filed with the CHR as her only alleged purpose in offering him a new lawyer is to help him, despite the fact that she knew very well that he is already being represented since day one by his lawyers from NUPL and PILC.

 

April 9

(Friday)

Around 9:00 am, media reports said that 38 of the Complainants-Detainees will arrive at Camp Crame at 10:30 am. Atty. Olalia, who was scheduled this morning to go to Camp Capinpin to follow up the transfer, together with fellow NUPL lawyer Atty. Julius Matibag, was compelled to text Gen. Segovia to verify what time the Complainants-Detainees will be transferred. Gen. Segovia texted back and said that 38 of them were already on their way to Camp Crame.

 

Attys. Olalia and Matibag decided to proceed to Camp Crame instead to meet with and confer with the Complainants-Detainees. They learned at the gates that the Complainants-Detainees arrived at around 9:40 am. They proceeded to the PNP Custodial Center, only to find out that their clients have not yet been brought there. They then proceeded to the PNP parade grounds where the Army buses containing the 38 Complainants-Detainees individually handcuffed to their military guards and where the military convoy was parked. But in a few seconds, the buses and convoy started to move out of Camp Crame. And the media reports said that that they were going back to brought back to Camp Capinpin.

 

It turned out that the PNP officers Chief Supts. Herold Ubalde, Rommel Heredia, and Leonardo Espina together with Army Intelligence Officer Lt. Col. Zaragosa had just finished giving a press conference a few minutes earlier at the grandstand.

 

The lawyers rushed to the grandstand where there were several policemen, media and relatives milling. They were able to catch Chief Supt. Ubalde, PNP Chief of Legal, speaking to Renato Reyes of Bayan. They engaged in a negotiation but ended up with both parties disagreeing. The lawyers were asking Chief Supt. Ubalde the details of their coordination with the military but gave tentative details. He said that they had filed a Motion for Reconsideration the day before of the Morong RTC Order and that they could not accommodate the 38 as their detention facilities are overcrowded and that there is no other place they could keep them and that it was the BJMP who should take them in. The lawyers disagreed with this and registered their opposition. Before deciding to follow to Camp Capinpin, the lawyers procured a copy of the said Motion for Reconsideration at the PNP Legal Office.

 

In the meantime, Atty. Olalia called RTC Morong clerk of court Atty. Javier and verified what happened yesterday. Atty. Javier said he received the Motion for Reconsideration of the PNP at 5:00 pm and that it is set for hearing on March 16. He would be calling Atty. Olalia again later and said that the PNP is amenable to the transfer of the 38 Complainants-Detainees to Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan. He suggested that the defense lawyers should not agree that their clients be transferred to the Rizal Provincial Jail as they would be mixed with common criminals.

 

The lawyers, together with a big number of relatives and health workers, proceeded to Camp Capinpin. On the way, they decided to pursue with the ocular inspection of the farmhouse in question which was earlier scheduled that morning. They arrived about 1:00 pm and met Dr. Velmonte, her son Bong and caretaker Bing. (The latter was initially made to line up with the Complainants-Detainees when the latter were arrested but was instantly released when she identified herself.)

 

Dr. Velmonte and her son showed the structures in the farmhouse and narrated what happened that fateful day of February 6. She was mad at the military and the police for the intrusion into their property and the highly questionable search and seizure and illegal arrest of the 43 health workers who were her guests and to whom she herself had just given a medical lecture.

 

At Camp Capinpin, the lawyers and relatives arrived around 3:00 pm. The lawyers were held up entry because the military gate guards said that Maj. Tabion still had to clear their entry with his superiors. They were eventually escorted by Lt. Nelmida to the detention center. The lawyers met and conferred with 38 of the Complainants-Detainees from 3:15 pm to 6:45 pm. Again, Maj. Tabion was not around and made himself scarce.

 

New accounts of intimidation and harassment were relayed by the 38 Complainants-Detainees to the lawyers since the latter’s last visit on March 21. This includes the “visits” by Col. Joey Reyes, Chief of Staff of the 2nd ID on Complainants-Detainees Doloricon and Gonzales on April 2 and 3. He repeatedly offered both of them to have a “stroll” outside the detention center which they rejected. Col. Reyes admitted to them that he was present during the first days that the detainees were being interrogated while blindfolded and cuffed. (Doloricon and Gonzales executed and signed today a joint handwritten statement on these points.)

 

Also, Maj. Tabion spread the intrigue and falsehood that detainee Dr. Montes was able to supposedly sneak in alcohol into the detention center that is why he fell ill with high blood pressure and had to be taken to the military hospital for some time; that the Complainants-Detainees were shouted at with expletives and intimidated when they were being forcibly asked by Lt. Tabion and Col. Zaragosa around 8:00-9:00 pm the night before to accomplish without their lawyers a personnel information sheet which solicited unnecessary information or else they would not be transferred; how the military doctor Lt. Col. Torrelevega together with nurse Gamboa made a perfunctory questioning of their state of health without any actual medical check-up and initially asked them to sign his report but stopped when the Complainants-Detainees refused without their counsels’ presence. (All the 38 detainees executed and signed today a joint handwritten statement on these points.)

 

Complainant-Detainee Samson Castillo relayed that his teenage son was taken by the military and taken to their camp in Quezon for four hours last March 28.

 

One of the Complainants-Detainees also relayed how the five segregated detainees (Barrientos, Carandang, Paulino, Pizarro and Tawagon), expressed their mixed feelings of fear, distress, guilt, confusion, suffering and how they are still under duress in the hands of the military;  how they are still subjected to continuing interrogations and forced or coaxed to sign documents without the presence of their counsel of choice;  the vacillation of the military to let them freely visit their co-detainees; and the refusal of the military to let them speak to Atty. Olalia and his co-defense lawyers  as well as other details of their ongoing ordeal.

 

On the way out, the lawyers asked Lt. Nelmida if they can see the five segregated detainees. He said he cannot decide on this. The lawyers said then maybe they can just see them and just wave without saying a word. He said it was not possible. Lt. Nelmida, however, admitted that the five segregated detainees where just staying at House 101 immediately outside the gate of the detention center.

 

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Document #4

 

CHRONOLOGY OF THE EXPERIENCES OF THE MEDICAL DOCTORS

OF CHD AND COMMED

 

 

In compliance with the directive of the Honorable Commission, the doctors of CHD and COMMED had a meeting on March 28, 2010 to discuss the chronology of their experiences in connection with the subject matter of the instant complaint. 

 

The following narration is the result of the said meeting:

 

 

DATE

 

NARRATION

 

 

February 6, 2010

 

 

At around 10:30 AM, Dr. Julie Caguiat (of COMMED), Dr. Edelina de la Paz (of Health Action for Human Rights or HAHR), Dr. Geneve Rivera (of Health Alliance for Democracy or HEAD) arrived at Dr. Velmonte’s property in Morong, Rizal in response to an information that the 43 health workers participating in the training had been taken by around 300 armed elements of the AFP and PNP Rizal.

 

At around 12:00 noon, Olive Bernardo of Karapatan, Roneo Clamor (husband of Dr. Mia-Clamor) and Atty. Ephraim Cortez of NUPL joined the said doctors at the training venue to search for the 43 health workers.

 

At around 1:00 PM, the group, excluding Dr. Julie Caguiat, went to the Public Safety Management Office and the Provincial Headquarters of the PNP, 419 Provincial Group in Baras, Morong, which is about five minutes away from Dr. Velmonte’s farm house. 

 

When asked if they knew of the raid at Maybangkal, Morong, Rizal and where the health workers were taken, an unidentified police officer said they had no knowledge of such operation.

 

It was only later that the group learned the officer they had asked was P/Supt. Marion Balonglong.

 

The group then went to Camp Capinpin in search of the 43 health workers.  The group arrived at the Camp around 2:00 p.m.  They inquired from a soldier by the gate if the 43 health workers were brought to the Camp.  The group, however, was told that nobody was allowed yet to visit the 43.  At that time, the AFP had released a statement admitting custody of the 43.  

 

The group left the camp around 7:00 p.m.

 

February 7, 2010

 

 

Relatives of the 43 victims trooped to Camp Capinpin in the hope of visiting the detainees.  They were joined in by Dr. Ramon Pedro Paterno (of COMPASS), Dr. Geneve Rivera, Dr. Julie Caguiat and Dr. Sylvia dela Paz.  Also there were members of support organizations COMMED, CHD, HAHR, HEAD, COMPASS and religious organizations.

 

Two to three phalanxes of military police with rifles, shields and truncheons blocked the way to the main gate of the camp.  An armored personnel carrier was positioned just behind the gate.  The military was playing loud music from a mobile system, drowning the rally of the relatives and support organizations.

 

Attys. Amylyn Sato and Francis Anthony Principe of PILC talked with some of the soldiers at the gate and asserted the right of the 43 detainees to be visited.  But the military denied them, the relatives and the doctors access to the 43 victims.

 

At about 4:30 P.M., a certain Lt. Juvelyn Cabading, who was on her way to the camp, called up and convinced Roneo Clamor that she could sneak him into the camp.  Clamor asked if he could go with a lawyer.  The lieutenant refused.  She agreed instead that a doctor could go along. 

 

Midway to the camp on board an SUV, Lt. Cabading was called up by Col. Detoyato. She relayed to Clamor and Dr. Caguiat that the 43 would be subjected to an inquest.  When asked where and what time the inquest would be held, Lt. Cabading said that her superior did not tell her those details.

 

Clamor and Dr. Caguiat were not able to see anyone of the detainees.  They were brought back outside the camp as they were told the inquest would be conducted soon.

 

From 5:30 to about 8:00 P.M., the remaining relatives, doctors, health workers and the two lawyers made the rounds of the possible venue for inquest in Tanay and Taytay, Rizal to no avail.

 

February 8, 2010

 

 

Upon inquiry at the Regional Trial Court of Taytay, Rizal, Dr. Caguiat and some of the relatives were told that no inquest on the Morong 43 was conducted there.

 

Later, the relatives, doctors and lawyers learned that the inquest was conducted in the evening of the previous day inside Camp Capinpin.

 

Dr. Geneve Rivera, along with paramedic Celestino Dizon and two relatives of Eulogio Castillo, was able to see and talk to some of the detainees when CHR Chairperson Leila De Lima and her staff went to visit the 43 detainees.

 

After the CHR visit, Dr. Julie Caguiat asked but was refused to visit the detainees.

 

February 9, 2010

 

 

Dr. Julie Caguiat and Dr. Sylvia de la Paz still were not allowed access to the detainees.  They were made to wait for approval from 2:00 to 5:00 P.M. only to be informed that visiting hours were over.

 

February 10, 2010

 

 

Dr. Julie Caguiat, Roneo Clamor and a representative of Karapatan reported to CHR Chairperson De Lima the refusal of the military to allow doctors and lawyers to visit the Morong 43. 

 

February 11, 2010

 

 

Through the intercession of the CHR, doctors and lawyers for the Morong 43 were allowed to visit the detainees.  These doctors were: Joseph Carabeo, Irene Habawel,   Tony Rebosa, Geneve Rivera, Darby Santiago, Conor Jan Montes, Fresco B. Yapendon (volunteer internal medicine specialist), Julie Caguiat, Carlo Castro (volunteer psychiatrist) and Sylvia de la Paz. 

   

Dr. Julie Caguiat brought with her some emergency medicines but they were not allowed inside the cells. 

 

Upon checking up Romeo de la Cruz and finding out about his high blood pressure (180/120), Dr. Julie Caguiat asked the warden (later identified as Tabion) to be allowed to use the emergency medicines .  Tabion refused, saying the military would take care of giving the medicines. 

 

Dr. Caguiat also endorsed Romeo de la Cruz and Eulogio Castillo for blood pressure monitoring and appropritate medications.  But later, she learned that neither complete medical check-up was done on them nor medicines were given to them. 

 

The doctors were able to check up all the detainees except Valentino Paulino who was not in the cell at that time.  The warden later told the group that Paulino was brought outside his cell as Col. Zaragosa had to talk to him.

 

February 13, 2010

 

 

Dr. Julie Caguiat, Dr. Edelina dela Paz, volunteer psychiatrists Dr. Carlo Castro, Dr. Hazel Soriano, Dr. Billy and Dr. Jasmine were given a runaround and were made to wait from 10:30 A.M. for approval to be allowed to visit the detainees.  After 6 hours, however, no such approval came.

 

February 16, 2010

 

 

Dr. Alexis Montes’ relatives informed the doctors that he had complained of severe chest pains after the hearing at the Court of Appeals but that he was not immediately brought to a medical facility.  He was merely made to undergo ECG at the camp hospital without consultation with a doctor.

 

February 17, 2010

 

 

Dr. Geneve Rivera was not allowed to enter the detention cells.  Dr. Julie Caguiat and Dr. Carlo Castro who were supposed to visit and check up Dr. Alexis Montes and other detainees were likewise refused entry on the pretext that Brig. Gen. Jorge Segovia was not around and no approving officer was present.

 

Health workers from San Lazaro Hospital were also refused entry.

 

At 5:00 P.M., a lady officer told the visitors to write a request letter to visit the detainees.

 

February 18, 2010

 

 

The doctors wrote to the CHR requesting that they be deputized to regularly check-up the detainees.

 

February  19, 2010

 

 

The relatives of the Morong 43 wrote to Brig. Gen. Segovia requesting that the detainees be seen by the doctors of their choice.

 

 

February 21, 2010

 

 

The detainees wrote letters to certain doctors requesting regular medical check up.

 

February 24, 2010

 

 

Dr. Julie Caguiat, Dr. Carlo Castro and Dr. Hazel Soriano were supposed to visit the detainees, together with Gabriela and Senator Jamby Madrigal.  But the warden, Tabion, barred the doctors from entering the detention center, saying they were identified with Gabriela and (later changed to) Karapatan.  Even with the intervention of Sen. Madrigal, the doctors were denied entry.  Later on, the warden allowed but only Dr. Soriano.  

 

 

February 26, 2010

 

 

CHR Chairperson De Lima wrote to Brig. Gen. Segovia directing the military to respect the rights of the detainees under RA 7438 and to allow the doctors listed therein to visit them.

 

February 27, 2010

 

With the CHR letter to Brig. Gen. Segovia and the request-letters of the detainees, Dr. Julie Caguiat, Dr. Marlene Bermejo and Dr. Jason Bascos (psychiatrist) went to visit them again.  Although their entrance was delayed, Dr. Bermejo and Bascos were allowed to enter.  But Dr. Caguiat, who forgot to bring her ID and despite the CHR letter and the request letters, was denied entry and was even called an impostor.

 

March 7, 2010

 

 

Dr. Julie Caguiat, Dr. Amor Martelino, Dr. Charles Marquez, Dr. Christian Gomez, and psychiatrists Dr. Carlo Castro and Dr. Charie were to visit the detainees.  After waiting to be allowed to enter the detention center, the doctors were led to the holding area of the detention center.  From the list of doctors mentioned in the CHR letter, warden Tabion called out Dr. Martelino and Dr. Gomez whom he let in.  Dr. Caguiat, Dr. Marquez and psychiatrists Dr. Charie and Dr. Castro were refused entry. The said doctors asked Tabion to sign a statement saying that he denied them entry.  But Tabion refused and left.  

 

 ◄◄◄

▼  CHR Hearing, April 12, 2010  ▼
De. Velmonte testifies
     
     
Sister of Dra. Velmonte testifying on the plate numbers of reading party texted to her.
     
     

CERTIFICATION

 

 

            I, JULIE CAGUIAT, of legal age, Filipino, with address at No. 35 Examiner St., West Triangle, Quezon City, after being duly sworn to in accordance with law, do hereby certify that the above Chronology of the Experiences of the Medical Doctors of CHD and COMMED are true and correct based on the minutes of the meeting.  

 

           

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have affixed my signature this 8th  day of April 2010 at Makati City, Philippines.

  

JULIE CAGUIAT

                                 Affiant

  

            SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to before me this 8th day of April 2010 at Makati City, affiant exhibiting to me her SSS ID No. 33-4076387-1.

 

 

                                                                                                         Notary Public

 

Doc. No. ___;

Page No. ___;

Book No. ___;

Series of 2010.

 

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A Primer on the Illegal Arrest, Detention and Torture of 43 Health Workers

Posted By Bulatlat On March 13, 2010 @ 10:47 pm In * Latest Posts, Health, Human Rights, Top Stories - Featured2 | 1 Comment

Who are the 43 health workers?

The 43 health workers, also known as "Morong 43", are health professionals and volunteer community health workers who were arrested in Rizal on February 6, following a raid by the combined forces of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP).

The 43 were part of a Community First Responders' Health Training sponsored jointly by the Community Medicine Development Foundation (COMMED) and the Council for Health and Development (CHD). The training was held at the residential compound located at 266 E. Dela Paz St., Brgy. Maybangcal, Morong, Rizal. The compound is owned by Dr. Melecia Velmonte, chairperson of COMMED's Board of Directors and a renowned and respected infectious disease specialist and a professor emeritus of the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Medicine.

On February 6, 2010 at 6:15 am, joint elements of the 202nd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army (202nd IBPA) headed by its commander, Colonel Aurelio Baladad and the Rizal Provincial Police (PNP) headed by Police Superintendent Marion Balonglong raided the l compound of Dr. Velmonte.

Among those arrested were 2 doctors, 1 registered nurse and 2 midwives and 38 volunteer community health workers.

They are :

1. Merry Clamor y Mia, 33 y/o, medical doctor, CHD staff
2. Alexis Montes y Sulinap, 62 y/o, medical doctor, Commed volunteer
3. Gary Liberal y Apuhin, 43 y/o, registered nurse, AHW
4. Ma. Teresa Quinawayan y Roncales, 26 y/o midwife, CHD staff
5. Lydia "Del" Ayo Obera, 61 y/o, AHW staff & health educator
6. Reynaldo Macabenta y Torres, 30 y/o, CHD staff
7. Angela Doloricon y Manogon, 50 y/o, health educator
8. Delia Ocasla y Medrano, 46 y/o, community health worker
9. Janice Javier y Quiatchon, 22 y/o, community health worker
10. Franco Remoroso y Bilugan, 28 y/o community health worker
11. Linda Racel Otanez community health worker
12. Pearl Irene Martinez y de los Reyes, 25 y/o community health worker
13. Eleonor Carandang y Orgena, 30 y/o community health worker
14. Danny Pi�ero, community health worker
15. Ray-om Among, community health worker
16. Emily Marquez y Manguba, 23 y/ocommunity health worker
17. Emilia Marquez y Manguba,20 y/o, community health worker
18. Jane Balleta y Beltran 27 y/o, community health worker
19. Glenda Murillo y Cervantes, 26 y/o, community health worker
20. Eulogio "Ely" Castillo, community health worker
21. Jovy Ortiz y Quidor, 23 y/o, community health worker
22. Samson Castillo y Mayuga, 42 y/o, community health worker
23. Miann Oseo y Edjao, 31 y/o, community health worker
24. Sylvia Labrador y Pajanustan, 43 y/o, community health worker
25. Lilibeth Donasco, 24 y/o, community health worker
26. Jenilyn Vatar y Pizarro, 19 y/o, community health worker
27. Ramon de la Cruz y Santos, 21 y/o, community health worker
28. Jaqueline Gonzales, community health worker
29. Maria Elena Serato y Edeo, 35 y/o, community health worker
30. Ma. Mercedes Castro y Icban, 27 y/o, community health worker
31. Leah de Luna y Bautista, 28 y/o, community health worker
32. Judilyn Oliveros Y Abuyan, 26 y/o, community health worker
33. Yolanda Yaun y Bellesa, 51 y/o, registered midwife
34. Edwin Dematera y Bustamante, 37 y/o, community health worker
35. Cherielyn Riocasa Tawagon, 31 y/o, community health worker
36. John Mark Barrientos y Roldan, 20 y/o, community health worker
37. Mark Escartin y Esperida, 20 y/o, community health worker
38. Julius Duano, 30 y/o, community health worker
39. Ronilo Espera, 31 y/o, community health worker
40.Romeo de la Cruz, 53 y/o, community health worker
41. Valentino Paulino y Abale, 35 y/o, community health worker
42. Ace Millena, community health worker
43. Lorelyn Saligumba, community health worker

Why were they arrested?

The arresting authorities claim that the 43 health workers were caught in the act of undergoing training on bomb-making and that they are members of the New People's Army (NPA). The arresting authorities claim to have found firearms and explosives in the premises where the 43 were staying.

The military allege that they found C4 explosives, a pistol with seven bullets, three grenades (one allegedly found under a pillow) and some improvised landmines beside the grenade. However the search was conducted without being witnessed by Dr. Velmonte, any other house occupant, or independent witnesses such as baranggay officials. According to witnesses, the military conducted the search in the compound premises only after all the victims as well as the house owners and their house help were already outside the buildings.

Were the arrests legal?

No, the arrests were illegal. These were based on a patently defective February 5, 2010 search warrant issued by Judge Cesar Mangrobang of Branch 22 of the Imus, Cavite Regional Trial Court. The warrant was issued against a certain Mario Condes of Barangay Maybangcal, Morong, Rizal on allegations of illegal possession of firearms. It did not specify any address except for the name of the barangay. The house raided was not that of Mario Condes but that of Dr. Velmonte. There is no Mario Condes among the 43 arrested.

Were there violations of the rights of the 43 health workers?

Yes, there were gross violations of the right to due process, the right against illegal searches and seizures and the right against torture.

1. Violations in securing the search warrant

As stated earlier, the search warrant was patently defective and issued with grave abuse of discretion. The warrant did not indicate any exact address and in effect covered the entire baranggay, thus violating the rights of the accused against unreasonable searches and seizures. The house that was searched was not indicated in the warrant and did not belong to "Mario Condes".

2. Violations during arrest

The 43 were arrested without any warrants of arrest; they were not informed of the reasons for their arrest nor where they were being taken. All throughout they were denied the right to call a lawyer.

All the training participants were frisked and ordered to line up outside the house. They were immediately handcuffed, interrogated and photographed by the military. Their personal belongings were confiscated. The military used old shirts and packaging tape which they brought with them to blindfold all the participants before loading them onto several trucks.

3. Violations during detention

For five days, the 43 were denied their right to counsel During the first 36 hours of their detention, the 43 were not informed of the reasons why they were being held. They were subjected to continuous interrogation and were being forced to admit that they were members of the NPA. Their fingerprints were taken while they were blindfolded.

Only during the inquest proceedings on the second day were they finally informed of the charges being levelled against them. The prosecutor from the Department of Justice (DOJ), State Prosecutor II Romeo Senson, simply called out their names, then read the charges against them. The 43 were denied their right to counsel even during the inquest proceedings.

There were several accounts of torture and ill-treatment as attested to by the detainees and the Commission on Human Rights (CHR). The AFP violated several provisions of Republic Act No. 9745 or the Anti-Torture Law: both physical and psychological torture were inflicted on the 43. These include: being blindfolded and handcuffed for 36 hours; being subjected to multiple and prolonged tactical interrogation with death threats, harassment and intimidation; being deprived of sleep and urgent medication; being manhandled and beaten; being denied legal counsel for days; being denied medical treatment; being coerced to wrongly make admissions and implicate others; and being subjected to various indignities during their captivity. Some were held incommunicado and some remain in solitary confinement up to now.

Some detainees who were blindfolded and handcuffed were also subjected to the indignity of having their captors lower their pants and underwear just so they could relieve themselves.

The 43 remain detained in a military camp when they should have been transferred to a civilian detention facility especially after charges were filed against them in court.

Have the 43 health workers been charged in court?

Despite all the violations of due process committed by the AFP, PNP and the DOJ, charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives and violations of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) gun ban were filed against the 43 at Branch 78 of the Rizal Regional Trial Court in Morong. The charges were only filed on February 11, five days after they were arrested. Forty of the accused face non-bailable offenses (illegal possession of explosives). Clearly, the purpose of the hasty filing of said charges is to attempt to cure violations of due process and justify the continued illegal detention of the 43.

Were the health workers really members of the NPA? Were they really making bombs at the time of their arrest?

The military has made the sweeping accusation that the 43 are members of the NPA. Their proof consists of the firearms and explosives allegedly found in the premises of Dr. Velmonte. But the accounts of Dr. Velmonte and her household give sufficient ground to believe that the firearms and explosives were planted by the military/police.

Mere membership in the NPA cannot be used as basis for a warrantless arrest. Jurisprudence tells us that an overt act or an actual crime (in this case, taking up arms against the government) must first be committed to justify an arrest. There was no shoot-out at the time of the arrest; the 43 and Dr. Velmonte's household were either doing their morning ablutions or getting ready for breakfast. It is a stretch of the imagination to claim that the 43 health workers were caught in the act of making bombs as early as 6:00 am when they were arrested.

What the military did was to fabricate and plant evidence and then accuse the health workers as NPA members, to justify their warrantless arrest and illegal detention.

The military has since concocted many versions of who the 43 really are. At first, the military alleged that the 43 were not health workers but bomb-makers. Later, the military would allege that the 43 were indeed health workers but were also undergoing training in making explosives. The military now calls them "medics" of the NPA.

The military also goes on to make the preposterous claim that Dr. Alexis Montes, a 62-year old surgeon, is a member of the NPA Special Operations Group tasked to assassinate Gen. Jovito Palparan.

According to CHR Chair Leila de Lima, even assuming for the sake of argument that the 43 health workers are NPA members, they still have the right to due process, including the presumption of innocence and the right to be free from torture and other degrading treatment.

Have the 43 health workers taken legal action? What has been done to secure their release?

The health workers through their relatives and their organizations have filed before the Supreme Court a petition for the writ of habeas corpus last February 9. The Supreme Court ordered the AFP to produce the 43 at the hearing at the Court of Appeals on February 12, 2010. The military defied the SC by not bringing the 43 to the scheduled hearing citing alleged security reasons and lack of time to prepare. The AFP received a strong rebuke from the CA and was ordered to produce the 43 at another hearing on February 15. As of this writing, the CA has yet to issue its decision on the petition.

A complaint has also been filed before the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), asking it to investigate the allegations of rights abuses committed against the 43. The CHR has issued the order for the AFP to present the Morong 43 before the Commission in a scheduled hearing on March 18.

Who are supporting campaign to free the 43?

The campaign "Free the 43" is supported by a broad range of sectors of society, from colleagues in the health professions, lawyers, lawmakers, political leaders across party lines, religious formations, human rights advocates, artists, and advocates and beneficiaries of community-based health programs where the community health workers render their services. It is a national and international campaign calling on the Arroyo government to immediately release the Morong 43 and drop all charges against them. It is a campaign that supports the legal defense of the 43 and undertakes advocacy work and mobilizations. The campaign also supports the immediate needs of the families of the 43 in terms of visits, psycho-social counseling and other forms of concrete assistance.

Why are there volunteer community health workers?

In the Philippines, where seven out of 10 Filipinos die without ever seeing a doctor and where public health services are sorely lacking or inaccessible, non-government organizations (NGOs) like CHD and COMMED play an important role by bringing health services to the people. This means that these non-government organizations try to reach poor and underserved communities, set up community-based health programs, organize health committees, and train community health workers (CHWs). This way, the poor people living in urban and rural areas can attend to their health needs in the absence or dearth of government services.

For 37 years, community-based health program practitioners have been training volunteers who would like to become CHWs regardless of their educational attainment. CHD, for example, has trained tens of thousands of community health workers nationwide. Training participants are selected by the people themselves with little regard to their educational and socio-economic background nor their religious or political beliefs, so as long as they commit themselves to serving the people in their communities.

The Community First Responders' Health Training is one of the courses CHD offers to community health workers. The training is in response to the assessed needs of the communities after the disastrous effects of the lack of disaster preparedness in the wake of tropical storms "Ondoy" and "Pepeng". The community health workers are also the frontliners in providing health services during disasters, so additional health skills are needed for them to be able to respond adequately, especially since many communities have no access to government health services.

Is this the first time doctors, health workers and volunteers have become victims of human rights abuse?

No, there have been similar attacks against health workers in the past. These can be better understood in the context of the government's counterinsurgency programs, most especially the Arroyo regime's US-supported Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL) or Operation Freedom Watch.

The illegal arrest and detention of 43 doctors and health workers is directly linked to OBL. The latter has given rise to a rash of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture, illegal arrests and detention and mass displacement of poor communities. Under OBL the military has been given a carte blanche by the Arroyo regime to disregard the most basic tenets of due process and human rights. For the AFP, once a person is accused of being an "insurgent" or "terrorist", he or she is guilty until proven innocent. This is the kind of militarist mindset that the Arroyo regime has in pursuing its counter-insurgency program.

The military has a track record of targeting several other doctors and health personnel.

Just recently, on February 23, 2010, Ronald Capitania, a community health worker of Sipalay, Negros Occidental was shot by two unidentified bonnet-clad men on a motorcycle. Luckily, he survived the attack.

On February 11, 2010, Benjei Faldas, a community health worker in Davao del Sur was reportedly charged with frustrated murder following the wounding of a CAFGU member in an encounter with the New People's Army. He is prevented from performing his duties as a community health worker.

In July last year, Dr. Reynaldo Lesaca Jr., a respected psychiatrist at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute and chairperson emeritus of the Health Alliance for Democracy (HEAD), filed a complaint before the CHR regarding his inclusion, together with four Davao-based doctors, in the military's "Order of Battle" thus making him vulnerable to being targeted for "neutralization" by military and paramilitary "death squads".

This was a month after another Davao-based physician, Dr. Rogelio Pe�era, was shot and killed by motorcycle-riding assailants near his house in Davao City.

In 2008, Dr. Oliver Gimenes, a community-based doctor serving farmers' communities in Cebu and Bohol, was placed under surveillance by the military and was vilified as a "rebel sympathizer". He was later charged with murder in a questionable criminal case stemming from an NPA raid of a military detachment.

In 2007, sisters Emilia and Maricris Quirante, both community health workers of Guihulngan Mountain Clinic in Negros Oriental were arrested for trumped-up charges of child abuse and rebellion.

In July 2006, unidentified armed men ambushed Dr. Chandu Claver and his family in Kalinga province. The attack killed Dr. Claver's wife, Alyce, seriously injured Dr. Claver himself, and traumatized their young daughter.

These attacks share several characteristics: they are politically-motivated; they are directed against those who serve poor communities or underserved sectors; the government attempts to justify these attacks by red-baiting the victims; and they have all been all perpetrated with impunity.

As the government's self-imposed deadline to defeat or "render inconsequential" the communist-led armed revolutionary movement draws near, the military will even be more hard-pressed to show results. Thus, human rights violations are bound to continue and even escalate.

What are the implications of the arrest of the 43 health workers?

The illegal arrest, illegal detention and torture committed against the 43 health workers by the AFP are clear violations of human rights. The methods resorted to by the military are clearly unconstitutional, show a blatant disregard for the rule of law and pose a grave threat to ordinary Filipinos everywhere.

This incident is disturbing for health professionals and health science students as it imperils the people's initiatives and efforts to build their own capacity and capability to manage their health needs in the absence of adequate public service.

For health professionals who may be considering the option of public service, this incident has a chilling effect. For the community-oriented academe, this single act of the military could undo decades of encouraging graduates to stay in the Philippines and create the necessary exposure and experience in community-based health trainings

This will deprive the people of much needed health services which will worsen the already deplorable state of health.

What are our demands and calls?

The campaign "FREE THE 43" demands the immediate and unconditional release of the 43 health workers who were illegally arrested in Morong, Rizal and are currently illegally detained in Camp Capinpin, Tanay, Rizal. We also demand that all the false charges against them be dropped.

We hold to account all the government officials involved in the illegal arrest, detention and torture of the 43 including those who have command responsibility over the military and police forces directly involved in the incident.

The complaint filed before the CHR states those responsible as:

"The President of the Republic of the Philippines herself, Her Excellency Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is primarily responsible as Commander-in-Chief under the principle of command responsibility because she knew or, owing to the circumstances at the time, should have known that the state forces were committing or about to commit the crimes stated in this complaint.

The public officials and cabinet secretaries also responsible for gross violations of Constitutional rights following the doctrine of command responsibility include National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales, the Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno.

Meanwhile, the public officers who are also exercising command responsibility over the 202nd IB, 2nd ID PA and the Rizal Provincial Police, PNP and directly responsible for the illegal search, illegal arrests, physical and mental torture and other blatant violations of the Constitutional rights of the 43 doctors and health workers are Gen. Victor Ibrado, the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines; Lt. Gen. Delfin Bangit, the Commanding General of the Philippine Army; Lt. Gen. Roland Detabali, Commanding General, SOLCOM, Philippine Army; Brig. Gen. Jorge Segovia, Chief of the 2nd Infantry Division, Philippine Army; Col. Aurelio Baladad, Commander of the 202nd Infantry Brigade, Philippine Army; Lt. Col. Jaime Abawag, Commander of the 16th Infantry Battalion; Philippine National Police Director General Jesus Verzosa; and P/Supt. Marion Balonglong of the Rizal Provincial Police.

In the same vein, the Honorable Judge Cesar Mangrobang is also responsible for the issuance of the bogus and constitutionally defective Search Warrant that the military and police officers used to justify the raid of the farmhouse located at 266 Dela Paz St., Brgy. Maybangcal, Morong, Rizal.

State Prosecutor II Romeo Senson, the Department of Justice Prosecutor who conducted the defective inquest of the 43 doctors, nurses and medical workers and issued the Resolution indicting them with trumped-up charges, and Senior Assistant Chief State Prosecutor Severino Ga�a, the reviewing prosecutor who signed the findings of Prosecutor Romeo Senson, and Department of Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera are accountable for their complicity in the efforts to legitimize the military and police's commission of human rights violations."

We demand an end to the counter-insurgency program OBL, which has targeted unarmed civilians accused of supporting the NPA, in the name of fighting insurgency.

We call on freedom-loving people to make a stand for human rights and condemn in the strongest terms the human rights violations perpetrated with impunity by the Arroyo government.

(This primer was prepared by Free the 43 Health Workers)

Article printed from Bulatlat: http://www.bulatlat.com/main

URL to article: http://www.bulatlat.com/main/2010/03/13/a-primer-on-the-illegal-arrest-detention-and-torture-of-43-health-workers/

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Jose Velmonte, son of Dra. Velmonte, testifies. He said he was asked to sign a blank inventory form but he did not. He said a kagawad did..

 

P Supt. Nubleza: At the first hearing, the a top military officer of Camp Capinpin pointed to him as the ground commander. Nubleza denied he was the ground commander - he was only the intelligence officer. He said he did not know who the ground commander was.

Chair Leila de Lima and two CHR commissioenrs
     
     
Lawyers for the AFP and PNP; the officers did not attend
Counsel for the Morong 43: Attys.Julius  Matibag, Edre Olalia, Romeo Capulong and Rachel Pastores
     
     
Represenatives of various organizations at the hearing

Some of the relatives of Morong 43 at the CHR

     

Sympathy fasting by Morong 43 relatives and human rights activists

April 17, 2010

     

 

Pedia Release – 17 April 2010
Ref: Marie Hilao-Enriquez, Chairperson (Mobile No. 09175616800)

Rights groups and advocates fast in support of the Morong 43

Today, the human righs alliance, Karapatan, salutes and joins the health workers, collectively known as Morong 43, in their fasting to fight for their and other political prisoners’ freedom and assert their rights to be treated humanely, free from torture, cruel and degrading treatment as provided for in the Convention against Torture of the United Nations, to which the Philippine government is a signatory.

Karapatan also unites with and strongly supports the relatives of the Morong 43 as well as other sectors, in conducting a solidarity fasting, to express sympathy and support to the struggle being waged by the Morong 43 and other political prisoners.

“The Morong 43 must be commended and supported in doing this fasting as a higher form of struggle in their fight for freedom and assertion of their rights to be treated humanely while in prison. We, in Karapatan, condemn the military’s attempt to trivialize this struggle as “mere theatrics” just so to downplay this act of protest. The military is afraid that their brazen disregard of the basic rights of the people will be further exposed in this fasting,” said ex-political detainee and Karapatan chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez.

“The Morong 43 demands for their immediate release or transfer to a regular detention facility as stipulated by law; thus, the Morong 43 are correct and justified to conduct their fasting as a higher form of protest against the military’s continuous denial and trampling of their rights, “ Hilao-Enriquez, herself a former martial law political prisoner added

On April 7, the Rizal Trial Court ordered the transfer of the 38 of the Morong 43 from Camp Capinpin, where the latter are presently detained to the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame; but the Philippine Army authorities and the Philippine National Police executed a script of going through the motions of transfer and denying it at the end, with the military claiming “victory” of retaining continued custody of the Morong 43. The Philippine Army authorities continues to defy orders form the Commission on Human Rights of bringing the Morong 43 to the latter’s hearings, the last of which was on April 12. The military officials even had the gall of filing petitions in the court to inhibit the CHR from doing its investigations, in which the military and PNP are more and more exposed in their violations of the Morong 43’s rights.

From the time the Morong 43 were illegally arrested and detained on February 6, 2010, the military has imposed its brand of law to keep the detainees in their custody, subjected the victims to physical as well as psychological torture to coerce some of the detainees into “turning witness” against their fellow victims. The military is doing these to justify their bungled operation and continued illegal detention of the Morong 43 especially that they have already bestowed shameful “awards” to the officers who supposedly led the operation and unabashedly received the so-called awards. Then the military announced that they have been able to reach their target of “dealing a blow” to the communist insurgency which under the counter-insurgency program, Oplan Bantay Laya must end in 2010.

Enriquez also added that the case of the health workers receives overwhelming support from local and international sectors, not because of any “theatrics”, but due to the violations committed and the blatant disregard of the military of the rights of the people.

Other political detainees in Camp Crame PNP Custodial Center have also lent their support and signed a petition calling for the freedom of the Morong 43. Karapatan calls on all freedom-loving Filipinos to support the struggle of the Morong 43. FREE THE MORONG 43! FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS! ###

 

 
 
   
   
     

Video

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Document #6

 

BLIGHTED: PHILIPPINE JURISPRUDENCE AND STATE REPRESSION - THE “MORONG 43”

 

Gill H. Boehringer

 

Forty three health professionals and community health workers were illegally arrested February 6 in a dawn raid by a swarm of Philippine Army and Police personnel. Incredibly, the arrest was trumpeted as a huge triumph in the counter-insurgency program which the government of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has been obsessively trying to complete by the end of her term which follows the May General Elections. The 43 were labeled communist rebels, members of the New People’s Army which continues to frustrate all efforts to defeat it once and for all. In fact, the NPA has been racking up stunning victories in recent months as they continue their hit and run strikes at military and police targets across many provinces of the archipelago.

 

The plight of the 43 calls for an examination of the jurisprudence of repression in the Philippines. For after 5 weeks of detention in an out of the way military camp, subject to on-going interrogation, threats and inducements, torture and, for some, solitary confinement, the Court of Appeals rejected their case for release brought by the writ of habeas corpus. They continue to languish in detention. It is military detention, not even Police detention as should be the case given that they are being held on criminal charges, not for political offences.

 

The relevant facts are simple enough. At 6 am on the morning of the February 6 a joint raiding party of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) entered  property at Morong, Rizal Province belonging to Dr. Melicia Velmonte who is  Chair of the Board of Directors of the Community Health Development Fund (COMMED). She is Professor Emeritus of the College of Medicine, University of the Philippines. The entry was not consented to. In fact she and others resisted the forced entry of the raiders who did not , initially, present their search warrant. Inside the compound, a noted Conference and Training Center, were 43 persons engaged in a week-long Community First Responders Training program, co-sponsored by two NGOs, COMMED and  the Council for Health and Development (CHD). Amongst the 43 were 2 medical doctors, a registered nurse, 2 midwives, 2 health educators and 36 volunteer community health workers.

 

The AFP//NP had obtained a search warrant from the Regional Trial Court at Imus, Cavite Province, at least 100 kilometers away from Morong, which strongly suggests that they wanted a tame judge who would co-operate by not looking too closely at the request for a warrant, especially one which was unconstitutional on its face! The warrant was not specific as to the property to be searched (a fatal flaw in law); in addition the warrant was made out in the name of one Mario Condes, who neither lived at the Velmonte property nor was he there at the time, nor was he known to any of those present on the property. According to the story put out by the AFP/PNP, they had received information from a secret source indicating that Condes had been seen in public with firearms and constituted a danger to the public. There seems to have been a hint that Condes was an NPA, though precise details have not been forthcoming. It is clear that the search warrant was a fraud and was to be used as a cover for the raid on the Velmonte property.

 

During the raid the 43 were herded into one area while the raiders searched the rest of the compound. They claim to have discovered some weapons and some explosives. As a result, all 43 were arrested, bound and taken to Camp Capinpin in Rizal. For 5 days they were interrogated, some were placed in solitary confinement, some apparently tortured and harassed, threats were made to them and toward their family, and forms of inducement as well as intimidation were applied. They were told to confess to membership in the New People’s Army. Five of the 43 were separated from the others and apparently worked over physically and psychologically until they confessed to being NPAs. They have since told their relatives that they were coerced into making these false confessions...............

 

Download full article

 

 

UCCP bishops boosts morale of Morong 43 in visit to Camp Capinpin

 

Morong 43 starts fasting in protest of transfer delay;

Groups condemn rights violations by AFP

 

Children Call for the Release of Love Ones, Freedom for the 43

           
   

Army Tortured and Forced Morong 43 Detainee to Admit He's NPA

Human Rights Commission to Investigate Army on Morong 43

   

Army Hose Down Morong 43 Relatives

Hospital Workers Call for the Release of Morong 43

   
   

Army Forced to Present the 43 Illegally Arrested Health Workers in Court

Justice Delayed, Justice Denied

   

Surface and Release the Abducted Health Workers

Doctors and Community Health Workers Abducted by Military in Rizal

   
     
BONUS TRACKS
     

◄   The lawyers of the Morong 43 -- Atty. Capulong, Atty. Pastores (in photo), Atty Olalia and Atty. Matibag  -- had to take their lunch at 2:30 PM because they had to attend to some work while the rest where having their lunch at 12 noon. Mabuhay ang mga abugado ng bayan!

 

 

The media at the CHR reading -- they bring the news to the world via photos and video via the internet and TV channels. Mabuhay ang media pipol!  ►

   
     
     
           
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