Mother and child: in the time of Aquino III:

SELDA condemns transfer of first-time mother and newborn to jail,

calls for their immeidate release

 

 

Posted: August 20, 1010

 

BONUS (REWIND) TRACKS:

Mother and child in the time of the dictator Marcos

 

 

Statement of  Sen. Teofisto “TG” Guingona on Judilyn Oliveros and Morong 43

I appeal for the immediate release of Carina “Judilyn” Oliveros for humanitarian reasons. She had just undergone Caesarian section delivery. She should be allowed to recover and take care of her newborn child outside of the confines of prison. Her petition for release on recognizance in order for her to breastfeed her child for at least six months should have been granted. Moreover, her transfer in handcuffs from the Philippine General Hospital to Camp Bagong Diwa is inhumane.
 

Another detainee, Ms. Mercedes (Mercy) Castro, will also soon give birth on October. I do not want the same thing to happen to her. I ask for the immediate resolution of the case and hope that all of the Morong 43 would be finally released.
 

Anong pangarap maging ng iyong anak? apo?
Danny Fabella Isang bagong awitin.
Length: 3:13

Tungkol sa mga pangarap maging ng mga batang tulad ni Baby Boy Oliveros

   

 

The baby boy was born at the PGH on July 22. four days before Aquino III gave birth to his first SONA. Three weeks later the Morong RTC judge ordered her back to prison, denying her motion for release despite the withdrawal of the DOJ of its opposition.. The first-time mother, Judilyn Oliveros of the Morong 43, was handcuffed; she could not coddle her child who had to be given to a nurse.

 

Mother and child  now start life together in a new environment that is called a prison.

 
 

/p

/p
Mother and child in the time of Aquino III
           

 

NEWS RELEASE
20 August 2010
For Reference: REP. LUZVIMINDA C. ILAGAN 0920-9213221
Jang Monte (Public Information Officer) 0917-4049119

GABRIELA SOLON DENOUNCES TRANSFER OF 3-WEEK OLD BABY AND MOTHER TO BICUTAN JAIL

“It was cruel and deplorable. The transfer of Judielyn Oliveros and
her three-week old baby from the Philippine General Hospital to Camp
Bagong Diwa grossly violates the rights of both mother and child.”

Thus said GABRIELA Women’s Party Representative Luz Ilagan as Judielyn
Oliveros and her baby were brought back to Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig.
Oliveros was handcuffed in a wheelchair and was unable to hold her son
as they were being taken out of the Philippine General Hospital where
Oliveros gave birth via cesarean section last July 22. Judielyn is one
of the 43 health workers illegally arrested on the basis of a
defective warrant last February 6 as they were holding their Community
Health Training in Morong, Rizal. Many among them were tortured during
their detention in Camp Capinpin. They are being charged with illegal
possession of firearms and illegal possession of explosives.

 

 

“Camp Bagong Diwa is no place to rear a child, much less a baby. Jails
are not safe and healthy places for infants. The cell where Judielyn
used to stay with 22 other women lacks proper ventilation. According
to the detainees, the bathroom water overflows and the detention cell
floods when it rains. To subject a newborn to these unhealthy
conditions is downright heartless. Judielyn Oliveros should be allowed
to care for and breastfeed her baby outside of Camp Bagong Diwa,” said
Ilagan.
 

The Gabriela solon further said that Morong RTC Judge Gina Escoto’s
decision to deny Oliveros’ petition for release on recognizance
violates the baby’s right to be fed, to be raised and to develop in a
healthy and normal manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity, in
accordance with the United Nations’ Declaration on the Rights of the
Child. “This decision is an injustice to Judielyn and her baby and
should immediately be reconsidered.”

Rep. Ilagan called for the immediate release of Judielyn Oliveros and
her son as well as of Mercy Castro, another pregnant detainee due to
give birth in October. Likewise, the women’s partylist representative
urged for the immediate dismissal of cases lodged against the 43
health workers. “The cases filed against the health workers were
fabricated and their arrest was clearly illegal. Every day that they
remain in detention is a testament of injustice.” #

 

           

 

NEWS RELEASE
August 19, 2010
For Reference: Fr. Dionito Cabillas, SELDA National Secretariat (0917-5965859)

SELDA CONDEMNS TRANSFER OF NEWBORN AND DETAINED MOTHER TO JAIL;

CALLS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF MOTHER AND CHILD

The Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Para sa Amnestiya (SELDA), an organization of former and current political prisoners, today slammed the recent transfer of Carina "Judilyn" Oliveros, one of the political prisoners collectively known as the Morong 43, and her 3-weeks old baby from the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) to the Women’s Sector Metro Manila District Jail – SICA Compound facility in Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig.

“We strongly protest the transfer of Oliveros and baby because conditions in the detention facility are not all good for both baby and nursing mother. We appeal to the Pres. Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino for their immediate release on recognizance for humanitarian reasons,” Fr. Dionito Cabillas, SELDA National Secretariat, said.

Cabillas said mother and child are currently detained at a cell inside the MMDJ-SICA Compound, where it is crowded and damp. Oliveros and baby are highly susceptible to diseases borne out of such jail conditions, he added.

Oliveros and her child were transferred to Camp Bagong Diwa yesterday upon the issuance of a court order by Judge Gina Cenit-Escoto of Branch 78, Regional Trial Court in Morong Rizal after denying Oliveros’ Motion for Release on Recognizance for humanitarian reasons, citing the non-existence of basis that the release may be granted. The order was granted despite the withdrawal of the initial objection of state prosecutors for the said motion to release.

“This manifests the graver injustices experienced by Oliveros and child, as well as the rest of the Morong 43, who are victims of illegal arrests, torture and detention. Justice remains elusive for the doctors and community based health workers, even pregnant and nursing mothers like Oliveros. Such is the deplorable state of the more than 400 political prisoners in the country, many of them were illegally arrested and imprisoned under the Macapagal-Arroyo administration,” Cabillas further said.

SELDA also expressed support for the noise barrage conducted by the Morong 43 today in Camp Bagong Diwa in protest of the transfer and continued detention of Oliveros and baby.

Morong 43 Statement on Judilyn Oliveros and Baby’s Transfer to Bicutan Jail

August 20, 2010

*The Morong 43 today conducted a noise barrage inside jail facilities in Camp Bagong Diwa in protest of the transfer of Oliveros and baby.

Judilyn Oliveros and baby must be released immediately!

We, the 43 accused community health workers call on the Aquino government to immediately release Judilyn Oliveeros and baby from prison.

Judilyn Oliveros, one of us accused community health workers, just gave birth to a baby boy last July 22 by caesarian operation. Barely three weeks from delivery, she is compelled by the authorities to be brought back to prison despite of our lawyer’s motion for release on recognizance. She has not fully recovered from her operation and the baby still needs nourishment from his mother and too young to be mixed in prison.

This is an additional injustice to Judilyn. Like us who are illegally arrested and detained, being pregnant while in prison is an additional suffering and sacrifice on her part. She was not spared from psychological and torture in the hands of the military. Just after being blindfolded and handcuffed for 36 hours, she was placed under solitary confinement. In her cell, she had been interrogated anytime at night or day by one or more military men. She was also threatened to be electrocuted when she joined our protest action against the military who forcibly took or ‘kidnapped’ our five companions from their cells in Camp Capinpin, Tanay, Rizal.

Need Judilyn and baby have to suffer more? Is justice and humaneness elusive again as in the era of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo?

We, 43 community health workers stand firm and continue to campaign for Judilyn and baby to be out of from jail. Even during the fascist rule of Ferdinand Marcos detained pregnant and nursing mothers were released from prison. We appeal to President Aquino III for humane treatment and speedy justice by releasing Judilyn and baby immediately out of prison!

Release Judilyn Oliveros and baby immediately!

Free the 43 community health workers and other political prisoners!
--
The Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Para sa Amnestiya (SELDA) - Philippines is an organization of political prisoners and former political detainees in the country. Founded in December 4, 1984, SELDA was initiated by former political prisoners during the Martial Law period. It works for the unconditional release of all political prisoners and humane treatment of those who are still in detention; for the advocacy on the conditions of political prisoners, the fundamental reasons for their arrest and detention, and their struggle for justice; mobilization of resources for political prisoners and their families; legislative actions on the indemnification and rehabilitation of political detainees; and promotion of partnerships and solidarity with organizations for the freedom and welfare of political prisoners and victims of tyranny.

How does a 3-week old first-time mother hold her first born baby

with her hands held tightly together by a handcuff?

Photos by the Free the Morong 43 Alliance

           
           

Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Para sa isang ina: Carina "Judilyn" Oliveros
Posted by Jaime at 11:46 PM
 

"My baby could not sleep until I put him beside me... I could not get my eyes off my son lying next to me. He looks like his father. He kicks so strongly the basin almost fell when we were bathing him the other morning.”

-Carina "Judilyn" Oliveros, Morong 43
Interview statement from bulatlat

Dalawang buwan bago ang kanyang pagsilang sa kanyang unang anak ay nakakwentuhan ko si ate Judilyn nang ako ay dumalaw sa 43 Health Workers sa Camp Bagong Diwa kung saan sila kasalukuyang nakapiit. Isa si Judilyn sa pumukaw ng atensyon ko dahil naawa ako sa kanyang kalagayan bilang buntis sa loob ng piitan. Noong araw na iyon ay wala akong halos ibang kinausap kundi si ate Judilyn at si ate Mercy na buntis din. Naawa ako sa kanila. Naawa ako sa mga magiging anak nila. At naiinis ako sa mga gumagawa sa kanila ng ganito.

Si Judilyn ay isa sa mga 43 Health Workers na ilegal na inaresto ng mga militar sa Morong noong Feb 6. Isa rin siya sa nakaranas ng torture sa kamay ng militar. Hindi pinapakain, nililinlang at iba pang anyo ng torture. Pero lahat ng iyon ay pinaglabanan nila. Hindi sila bumigay at patuloy na umasa para sa kanilang paglaya. Nagpakatatag at nanindigan para sa tama.

Noong ako ay nakikipagkwentuhan kila ate Judilyn, nakita ko sa kanya ang katatagan. Nakita ko sa kanya ang labis na pagmamahal nya sa kanyang gawain bilang volunteer community health worker. Sabi niya sa akin, siya daw ay naiinis dahil sa marami na namang mapagkakaitan ng serbisyong medikal sa kanilang lugar dahil sa kanyang pagkawala. Isa siya sa mga pinakaaktibong manggagawang pangkalusugan sa kanayunan na nagbibigay ng iba't ibang serbisyong medikal sa mga taong malaon ng pinagkaitan ng serbisyo ng gobyernong ito. Dagdag pa nya sa akin, pinili nya ang gawaing ito kahit alam nyang hindi siya rito yayaman at delikado dahil siya mismo ay galing sa mahirap na pamilyang nakararanas mismo ng kawalan ng serbisyong medikal mula sa pamahalaan. Ito raw ang paraan nya para gamitin ang kanyang karunungan at mga natutunan para paglingkuran ang bayan.

Tinanong ko siya kung ano ang pakiramdam niya bilang buntis at nakakulong. Sabi nya sa akin ay nakakalungkot at nakakakaba dahil hindi niya raw alam ang magiging kinabukasan ng kanyang magiging anak sa ganoong set up. Si ate Judikyn ay hiwalay sa kanyang asawa. Nakakalungkot daw na manganganak siya sa gitna ng ganoong kalagayan--na sila ay nasa piitan. Pero buong tatag niyang sinabing proud siya sa magiging anak niya dahil ang anak niya ay ipapanganak ng masasaksihan ang pasismo at kabulukan ng hustisya sa bansa. Biro pa nga nya ay MORONG ang ipapangalan niya sa kanyang magiging anak. Para daw hindi makalimutan ng kanyang anak ang lahat ng kanyang sakripisyo para lang mabuhay siya at mga sakripisyo nya para sa paglilingkod sa bayan. Umaasa daw siyang lalaya rin sila pero tanggap niya na ito ay maaaring sa matagal pang panahon. Malakas din ang kanyang loob na kalaunan ay makakamtan nila ang hustisya at doon magiging ganap silang malaya kasama ang mga anak nila. At isa raw sa pinagkukunan nila ng lakas ay ang suporta ng iba't ibang grupo at indibwal para sa kampanya sa kanilang paglaya.

Tinanong ko din kung sa ganoon niyang kalagayan ay kung may pinagsisisihan ba siya at buong pagmamalaki nyang sinagot na wala ni kahit ano siyang pinagsisisihan. Hindi siya nagsisisi sa kanyang pagkakulong. Hindi siya nagsisisi sa pagiging community health workers at lalong hindi raw siya nagsisisi sa ginagawa niyang paglilingkod para sa bayan. Ang dapat daw magsisi ay ang mga gumagawa sa kanila ng ganito. Na silang naglilingkod at tumutulong sa bayan ay hinaharas, hinuhuli at kinukulong. dagdag pa niya, matibay ang kanilang paninidigan at mataas ang kanilang moral na sila ay babalik sa mga gawain bilang mga manggagawang pangkalusugan sa oras na sila ay makalaya. Wala raw dahilan para sila ay tumigil lalo na daw ngayon na laganap ang kahirapan at marami pa ang nangangailan ng tulong nila. Sila raw ay hindi kailanman mapipigilan sa kanilang mga gawain ng kahit anong uri ng panghaharas sa hanay nila. Ito ang mga katagang tumatak sa aking utak. Humanga ako sa kanya. Humanga ako sa katatagan at dedikasyon nila. Wala silang bahid ng pagsisisi. Wala silang bahid ng pag-aalinlangan para paglingkuran ang bayan. Ikulong man sila, kasuhan, pahirapan ay tanggap nila basta't mapaglingkuran ang sambayanan.



July 22, 2010. Ipinanganak ni Carina "Judilyn" ang kanyang anak sa Philippine General Hospital batay na rin sa release order na ibinigay sa kanya ng korte. Ngunit sa pagkakataong ito ay minamadali na si ate Judilyn para bumalik sa kulungan. Mariin ang pagtanggi niya dito. Sana raw ay pagbigyan naman daw siya ng mga kinauukulan upang makasama ang kanyang anak. sa mas mahaba pang panahon Lungkot at galit ang nararamdaman ni ate Judilyn dahil sa ginagawa sa kanila. At dahil dito ay lumala pa ang iba't ibang kumplikasyong bunga na rin ng kanyang panganganak tulad ng labis na pagdurugo.
 

◄◄◄
 

Photo from Ronalyn Olea/ Bulatlat.com

 

Mahirap sa isang ina ang mawalay sa kanyang sanggol lalo na sa panahong nararamdaman niyang kailangan pa siya nito.

At ayon na rin sa rekomendasyon ni Dr. Julie Caguiat, tagapagsalita ng FREE THE 43 HEALTH WORKERS ALLIANCE ay nararapat na bigyan ng sapat na panahon si Judilyn para sa kanyang ganap na pagrecover mula sa kanyang panganganak at para sa ikabubuti ng kalusugan ng sanggol.

Sa ngayon ay nagsasagwa ng iba't ibang ligal na hakbang ang nasabing grupo para sa kagyat na pagpapalaya kay Judilyn.

"Lalaya kami. Naniniwala kami na lalaya rin kami. at sa araw ng aming paglaya, ipinapangako namin na kami ay agad babalik sa kumunidad at sa pagsisilbi sa sambayanang malaon ng pinagkaitan ng serbisyong pangkalusugan"

-43 Health Workers in their 4th month of detention

 

From:

http://akosiliet.blogspot.com/2010/08/para-sa-isang-ina-carina-judilyn.html

 

           
           

 

OFFICE OF SEN. LOREN LEGARDA
RM.209, Senate of the Philippines, GSIS Bldg. Pasay City
www.lorenlegarda.com.ph

Press Release Pls. refer to: Pamsy Tioseco
August 21, 2010 0928-5046017

LOREN APPEALS FOR JUDICIAL HUMANITARIANISM: ALLOW JUDILYN TO NURSE HER BABY BOY IN A HOSPITAL ROOMING-IN FACILITY

Senator Loren Legarda today appealed for Judicial Humanitarianism and called on the Judicial authorities to allow a nursing mother Judilyn Oliveros to be with her new born baby and enjoy rooming-in facilities in a hospital.

Judilyn Oliveros was one of the health workers dubbed as “Morong 43” who were charged in Court and suspected to be linked with communist rebels. Judilyn gave birth to a baby boy. In a recent report, the court denied her motion, despite lack of opposition from the prosecutors, to stay in a hospital with her baby boy, thus, was poised to be transferred back to Camp Bagong Diwa for her continued detention.

In appealing for Judicial Humanitarianism, Loren cited Republic Act No. 7600 "The Rooming-In and Breast-Feeding Act of 1992" as amended by Republic Act No. 10028 the "Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009" which established the State policy and right of a mother the practice of breastfeeding her new-born child. The law provides mother and child to enjoy an environment where basic physical, emotional, and psychological needs of mothers and infants are fulfilled through the practice of rooming-in and breastfeeding. Said Loren, “these rights cannot be available inside a jail facility where conditions are bad, ventilation and sanitation is poor and there are reports about the spread of tuberculosis among inmates”.

 

Loren continues to champion women’s and children’s rights and has authored and co-authored several bills enacted into law in pursuit of such advocacy. Among these were the Magna Carta for Women, the Universal Newborn Hearing Screening and Intervention Act of 2009, theAnti-Violence Against Women and Children Act, the Anti-Child Labor Law.
--
Office of Senator Loren Legarda
RM.209, Senate of the Philippines,
GSIS Bldg. Pasay City
Philippines
833-1434
http://www.lorenlegarda.com.ph

 

           
           

News Release
August 19, 2010

Bayan calls on Aquino admin to review cases of 'Morong 43' after mom and child brought to Bicutan jail

The umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) today denounced what it described as the "inhumane" transfer of political detainee Judilyn Oliveros and her three-week-old son from the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) to the police's Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig City. Bayan also said Oliveros and her son's transfer underscores the need for the government to review the cases filed against the "Morong 43."

Oliveros was led out of the PGH on a wheelchair and in handcuffs. She was not able to carry her baby on the trip during the transfer.

Oliveros is one of the health workers collectively known as the “Morong 43,” who were arrested last Feb. 6 on the basis of a defective warrant while holding a Community First Responders’ Health Training in Morong, Rizal. They were detained at the military’s Camp Mateo Capinpin in Tanay, Rizal, where they were subjected to inquest proceedings without counsel. They face charges of illegal possession of firearms, illegal possession of explosives, and violation of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) gun ban. Several of them have told of having been tortured while at Camp Capinpin. They were transferred to Camp Bagong Diwa on May 1.

Oliveros, a first-time mother, gave birth by Caesarian section at the PGH on July 22. She had been nursing her son in a room there under guard. It is not known whether the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) has set up facilities for Oliveros and her son at Camp Bagong Diwa.

The lawyers of the “Morong 43,” led by Romeo Capulong of the Public Interest Law Center (PILC) and the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL), have filed a petition for Oliveros’s release on recognizance to allow her to breastfeed her son for at least six months.

State Prosecutor II Romeo Senson, the same prosecutor who subjected the 43 health workers to “inquest,” had filed a motion to oppose the petition. But Justice Secretary Leila de Lima has expressed support for the non-separation of Oliveros from her son, and ordered the withdrawal of Senson's motion.

Morong Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Gina Escoto, however, denied the petition of Oliveros's lawyers.

"What happened at the Philippine General Hospital was cruel," Bayan secretary-general Renato Reyes Jr. said. "Mother and child should not have been brought into an unsafe facility. The handcuffing of a mother on a wheelchair is also too much."

"The transfer of Oliveros and her son to Bicutan highlights the urgent need for the government, through the Department of Justice (DoJ), to review the cases filed against the 43 health workers," Reyes said. "Another 'Morong 43' detainee, Mercy Castro, is scheduled to give birth in October. The longer the cases against the 43 are not reviewed, the more it becomes possible for the fate of Oliveros and her son to be repeated."

Bayan urged the Morong RTC to reconsider its decision of sending Oliveros and her child back to jail. “Both should be released on humanitarian grounds. All 43 detainees should be released because the charges against them are false and the arrests made were illegal,” Reyes said.
###

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dateline Manila
Carlos Conde
Location: Manila, Philippines

Mother and newborn sent to jail in Philippines

Aug. 19 2010 - 04:12 pm

Even as Filipinos are so worked up with the torture by the police of a robbery suspect, practically nothing is being said – except by activists – about the fate of Judilyn Oliveros, one of the so-called Morong 43 political detainees who was returned to a cramped and dirty prison cell after she gave birth to a baby boy.

Yesterday, she was brought to court still in a wheelchair, handcuffed and was thus unable to hold her son in the short time that she was outside of jail. That same day, she and the boy went to jail after the court denied her appeal for temporary freedom, despite the fact that the Department of Justice has withdrawn its opposition to her petition.

Oliveros and the rest of the Morong 43 are the Aquino administration’s prisoners of conscience. Their rights were violated, the circumstances of their arrest questionable, their continuing detention a testament to the failure by the new dispensation to live up to its promise of change.

As one activist notes, the imprisonment of Oliveros and her child is happening under a president whose father had suffered a similar fate.

As long as the Morong 43 are in jail, anything this government says about human rights and respect for civil liberties will ring

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

NEWS RELEASE
20 August 2010
For Reference: Cristina Palabay, Tanggol Bai convenor (0917-5003879)

WOMEN POLITICAL PRISONERS OF THE MORONG 43 STAGE NOISE BARRAGE; CALL FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF JUDILYN AND BABY

Women political prisoners from the Morong 43, the group of medical professionals and community health workers illegally arrested, tortured and are currently still detained yesterday held a noise barrage inside the women’s detention facility at the Metro Manila District Jail – SICA Compound, Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig.

The women detainees conducted the said activity in protest of the recent transfer of Carina “Judilyn” Oliveros and her three-week old baby from the Philippine General Hospital to the said detention facility.

“This is an additional injustice to Judilyn. Like us who are illegally arrested and detained, being pregnant while in prison is an additional suffering and sacrifice on her part…Need Judilyn and baby have to suffer more? Is justice and humaneness elusive again as in the era of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo? We stand firm and continue to campaign for Judilyn and baby’s immediate release,” the women said in their collective statement on the issue.

Visitation rights were suspended for yesterday at the women’s sector after the noise barrage of the women political prisoners as part of their "disciplinary action," according to jail officials. Some relatives of the women of Morong 43 were not allowed to visit. Sunning rights were also suspended for one week.

Cristina Palabay, convenor of Tanggol Bai (Association of Women Human Rights Defenders), said the noise barrage of the Morong 43 is a legitimate exercise of their right to free expression.

“Prison officials should also be reminded that under Republic Act 7438, every arrested or detained person shall be allowed visits or conferences with any member of his/her immediate family, among other individuals and institutions,” Palabay stated.

The women political prisoners appealed to Pres. Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III for humane treatment and speedy justice by releasing Oliveros and baby and all political prisoners.

“We call on Pres. Aquino to exercise prudence and understanding on the plight of political prisoners as his late father, Senator Benigno Aquino, was himself a victim of political persecution under the Marcos administration. Free the 43 health workers, free all political prisoners,” they said.

----------------------------------------------

 

Morong 43 Statement on Judilyn Oliveros and Baby’s Transfer to Bicutan Jail

August 20, 2010

*The Morong 43 yesterday conducted a noise barrage inside jail facilities in Camp Bagong Diwa in protest of the transfer of Oliveros and baby.

Judilyn Oliveros and baby must be released immediately!

We, the 43 accused community health workers call on the Aquino government to immediately release Judilyn Oliveeros and baby from prison.

Judilyn Oliveros, one of us accused community health workers, just gave birth to a baby boy last July 22 by caesarian operation. Barely three weeks from delivery, she is compelled by the authorities to be brought back to prison despite of our lawyer’s motion for release on recognizance. She has not fully recovered from her operation and the baby still needs nourishment from his mother and too young to be mixed in prison.

This is an additional injustice to Judilyn. Like us who are illegally arrested and detained, being pregnant while in prison is an additional suffering and sacrifice on her part. She was not spared from psychological and torture in the hands of the military. Just after being blindfolded and handcuffed for 36 hours, she was placed under solitary confinement. In her cell, she had been interrogated anytime at night or day by one or more military men. She was also threatened to be electrocuted when she joined our protest action against the military who forcibly took or ‘kidnapped’ our five companions from their cells in Camp Capinpin, Tanay, Rizal.

Need Judilyn and baby have to suffer more? Is justice and humaneness elusive again as in the era of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo?

We, 43 community health workers stand firm and continue to campaign for Judilyn and baby to be out of from jail. Even during the fascist rule of Ferdinand Marcos detained pregnant and nursing mothers were released from prison. We appeal to President Aquino III for humane treatment and speedy justice by releasing Judilyn and baby immediately out of prison!

Release Judilyn Oliveros and baby immediately!

Free the 43 community health workers and other political prisoners!
--
Tanggol Bai is an association of women human rights defenders in the Philippines to advance women’s rights as human rights. Tanggol Bai is formed to further develop the capability of women human rights defenders to protect and advance women’s, human and peoples’ rights while giving special attention to the rights of WHRDs; to provide a venue by which WHRDs can give mutual assistance to one another especially to those who are facing immediate threats; provide information and facilitate HR education to WHRDs to even better sensitize them to violations of political, civil, economic, social and cultural rights; through common effort, enable WHRDs to effectively forward policies and legislations, fight for their rights and generate resources for the needs of their human rights advocacy; and network with other human rights organizations in the country and abroad.

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On the release on recognizance of Judielyn Oliveros and her baby, and call for freedom of the Morong 43
Privilege Speech of Gabriela Women's Party Rep. Luzviminda C. Ilagan
August 04, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I rise today on a question of personal and collective privilege.
As a mother and a representative of a Women's Political Party, I raise the issue of a woman political prisoner who has just given birth.
 

Mr. Speaker, distinguished colleagues, this week, 120 countries all over the world including the Philippines, celebrate the World Breastfeeding Week. This celebration aims to encourage breastfeeding and to improve the health of babies all over the world. It commemorates the Innocenti Declaration made by the World Health Organization and UNICEF policy-makers in August 1990 to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.
 

It is most ironic, however, that while we are celebrating World Breastfeeding Week, a newborn baby is in danger of being separated from its mother or of being thrust into an environment that would disrupt this critical feeding process and much-needed emotional bonding between mother and child.
 

I refer, Mr Speaker, to the case of Judielyn Oliveros, a community health worker, who was illegally arrested on February 6, 2010 along with the 43 other health professionals and volunteer health workers. She was 3 months pregnant at the time of the arrest. She went through the most horrible experiences a pregnant woman could ever have. She was one of those blindfolded and handcuffed for 36 hours, subjected to multiple and prolonged tactical interrogation with death threats, harassment and intimidation. She was among those who were manhandled and beaten, denied legal counsel for days, deprived of sleep, denied of medical treatment and subjected to various indignities during captivity.
 

On July 22, 2010 , the 26 year old Judielyn delivered a baby boy by caesarian section at the Philippine General Hospital. The baby was immediately roomed-in with his mother in order to initiate full breastfeeding.
 

Yesterday, this representation visited Judielyn and her newborn at the Philippine General Hospital. I also learned that the jail warden had also visited and informed Judielyn that after she is discharged, she will be brought back to her detention cell. She is now confronted with the unfortunate and heartbreaking dilemma of leaving her two-week old child in the care of other people or bringing it with her to the distressing confines of a prison cell.
 

Mr. Speaker, distinguished colleagues, I am concerned for the mother and even more for the baby, for I know that stress experienced by a woman during pregnancy affects the unborn and then after birth, the full benefits of bonding and breastfeeding an infant are dependent on the physical, psychological and emotional well-being of both mother and child. It is without doubt, that since February 6 until now, the possibility of a stress-free environment is certainly non-existent.
 

Judielyn Oliveros, as a first time mother wants to breastfeed her baby. Like any other mother, she wants to ensure the normal growth and development of her child, despite the fact of her captivity.
 

Citing the policy of the World Health Organization that exclusive breastfeeding be given for 6 months but to be continued as long as the mother has milk, Dr. Lorna Abad Ramos, the attending pediatrician of Judielyn’s baby has emphasized in her certification that “to ensure milk production by the mother, the baby has to be constantly fed from her breast. It is also important that the mother is stress free and be housed in comfortable place.”
 

Mr. Speaker, ang pinagdaanan ni Judielyn Oliveros sa pagdadalang-tao at patuloy na pinagdadaanan niya ngayong siya ay nanganak na ay malinaw na paglabag sa karapatang pantao, hindi lamang ni Judielyn, kundi lalo't higit ng kanyang sanggol.
 

Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig where Judielyn and the other health workers are detained lacks adequate facilities that would be needed for the mother and child to have a healthy and comfortable environment for breastfeeding, nursing and bonding. It lacks proper ventilation and is an unhealthy place to nurture a newborn. Twenty-three women stay in one small room. According to the detainees, the bathroom floods and the detention cell is flooded when it rains. Napakahirap po na sitwasyon ito para sa mga nakakulong at lalung lalo na sa isang bagong panganak na ina at bagong silang na sanggol.
 

Mr. Speaker, ang kinatawang ito ay lubhang nababahala sa maaring maging epekto sa kalusugan ng bata habang siya ay nasa loob ng kulungan. Para sa kaalaman ng aking mga kasamahan dito sa Kapulungan, maraming mga detenido ang dumadanas sa kasalukuyan ng iba't ibang sakit bunga ng hindi maayos at malusog na kalagayan, at ng pabago-bagong panahon. Sa ganitong kalagayan, hindi malayong magkasakit ang sanggol kapag sila ng kanyang ina ay manatili sa loob ng detensiyon. Inaalala din ng kinatawang ito ang posibleng maging epektong sikolohikal sa bata sa kanyang paglaki.
 

I, therefore, call upon this chamber to immediately take a stand and recommend the release of Judielyn Oliveros and her baby on recognizance for humanitarian reasons. Bishop Reuel N.O. Marigsa, general secretary of United Church of Christ in the Philippines, has expressed willingness to take Judielyn Oliveros under recognizance and under the care of his office.
 

Mr. Speaker, the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child, Principle 2, states that, “The child shall enjoy special protection, and shall be given opportunities and facilities, by law and by other means, to enable him to develop physically, mentally, morally, spiritually and socially in a healthy and normal manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity. In the enactment of laws for this purpose, the best interests of the child shall be the paramount consideration”.
 

Finally, Mr. Speaker, Gabriela Women's Party calls for the immediate release of the Morong 43, specially of three women detainees on humanitarian reasons. Aside from Judielyn Oliveros, another pregnant detainee, Mercy Castro, is scheduled to give birth in October of this year. Another detainee, Jane Beltran-Balleta, grandaughter of our former colleague, Rep. Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran, who suffers from epilepsy has been seeking treatment for the epileptic fits she has been experiencing.
 

Let us continue to uphold human rights, epecially the rights of women and children. As the sole women's party in this Congress, Gabriela Women's Party enjoins members of this august body to support us in our advocacy of protecting and upholding the rights of women and children, of health and human rights workers, and the rest of marginalized sectors of our society.
 

Thank you.

           

 

August 27, 2010

 

For her son and for justice:Free Judilyn Oliveros of the Morong 43

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ina Alleco @ 10:13 pm

 

It’s been two months since Benigno C. Aquino III became president, and since then, despite assertions to the contrary, not much has changed in the Philippines and the state of human rights.

 

Noynoy has promised that he would be very different from his predecessor, but he has yet to prove it. If he was sincere in his declaration that he will uphold human rights and undo all the damage his predecessor has done to civil liberties, then he should not hesitate to take immediate action on two very pressing issues: 1) the long-standing and well-justified claim of Hacienda Luisita farmworkers to the land they have made productive for two decades; and 2) the Morong 43.

 

Noynoy’s stand on the first has been patently clear even before he became president: he refuses to recognize the legal and more importantly moral right of the farmworkers to HLI.
As for the second, he has not said a word.

 

One would have thought that given Noynoy’s own experiences as the son of Ninoy, a former political detainee who was eventually brutally assassinated by the government he refused to give in to, Noynoy would show more compassion towards all political detainees. One also would have thought that Noynoy would rush to free all political prisoners and put an end to all military operations and government programs that allow for a culture of impunity and injustice to flourish.
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The community health workers known as the Morong 43 have been unjustly imprisoned since February 6, 2010. They were in the middle of a one-week health training program sponsored by the Community Medicine Foundation Incorporated (COMMED) and the Council for Health and Development (CHD) in Morong, Rizal. Among them were two medical doctors, a registered nurse, two midwives, two health educators and 36 volunteer community health workers.

Very early on Feb. 6, an estimated 300 soldiers in full battle gear from the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) 2nd Infantry Division and the Rizal Provincial Police raided the venue. The participants of the training – 43 in all — were manhandled, blindfolded, handcuffed and taken to Camp Capinpin, Tanay, Rizal. They were not shown a search or arrest warrant, neither were they told why they were being arrested. They were denied legal counsel, and for hours before the alarm was sounded, the 43 health workers suffered cruel treatment at the hands of their military guards.

For 36 hours the 43 experienced various forms of torture – mental, physical and psychological – and then they were verbally accused of illegal possession of fire arms and explosives. It was only on February 11, however, five days after they were arrested were they formally charged with same at the the RTC Branch 78,in Morong Rizal.

 

Soon after it came out that the 43 were arrested on a defective warrant, and if they were not forced to testify at the hearings initiated by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), the AFP would not have admitted that the search warrant was completely bogus — it was issued in the name of an unknown and most likely fictitious man supposedly named ‘Mario Condes.’

Six months have passed, and the 43 remain detained. In the meantime, one of them has given birth. On July 22, Carina Judilyn Oliveros’ son was born and like his mother, he became a prisoner of the state.

 

It’s painful to imagine how Judilyn suffered the last six months. Any woman who has been pregnant will testify that pregnancy is not easy. The body changes and with it one’s state of mind and feeling. One if often in a state of discomfort; and even when one deeply loves the unborn child growing inside one’s body, it cannot be denied that one does not love the aches and pains, the swollen feet and ankles, the oddness of appetite, the mood swings and the fear of something bad happening to the baby.

 

Judilyn suffered through all this,and more: she suffered them as an innocent prisoner surrounded by armed guards, with no immediate access to family and friends, and perpetually plagued by memories of torture. In fact, during her first 36 hours as a detainee, she was denied food and water, and denied rest: she was questioned again and again, and doubtless, even without the interrogation, sleep was always far from coming and when it did, it was restless.

 

Judilyn gave birth at the Philippine General Hospital, but immediately after she and her baby were taken back to Camp Bagong Diwa, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology’s (BJMP) detention facility in Bicutan where all of the Morong 43 were detained after their transfer from Camp Capinpin. The new mother was handcuffed and not allowed to carry her son as they left the hospital.

 

Again, the shortest separation between a mother and a newborn brings a measure of pain. The mother is often unable to keep her eyes of her child, and sometimes the urge, the need to constantly touch and kiss the baby is so strong that the fulfillment of it brings tears. In a just and humane society, she would have been immediately released if not for the complete illegality of the charges against her (and the rest of the Morong 43), then on humanitarian grounds.

 

 

 

Instead, Judilyn remained a prisoner: Judge Gina Cenat Escoto of the Morong RTC rejected the petition Judilyn’s lawyers filed for her temporary release on recognizance due to humanitarian reasons: Judily wanted to breastfeed her child and take care of him in a place conducive to the health and safety of a child. On Aug. 16, the court ordered Judilyn’s return to Bicutan, saying that there was no basis to allow her release.

 

Undaunted, Judilyn’s lawyers from the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) and the Public Interest Law Center (PILC) filed an appeal, and on August 25, the court reversed its previous ruling and allowed Judilyn and her baby to return to the PGH and stay there for three months. The RTC issued the more humane decision after the Department of Justice dropped its opposition to the original motion and gave recognition to the provisions of the United Nations’ Innocenti Declaration on the Protection, Promotion and Support of Breastfeeding.

 

As of this writing, mother and baby are still at Camp Bagong Diwa and the BJMP is yet to receive the court order to effect the transfer.

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When one thinks of Judilyn, one cannot help but think of other mothers.

 

The large majority of Filipino mothers give birth and raise their children in conditions that are far from the ideal. Because of poverty, many rely on the often limited services and medical provisions of public health centers. Most do not have access to valuable information on how to take care of their health to prevent pregnancy-related diseases like gestational diabetes.

 

Those in the far-flung areas do not even see doctors and depend only on community midwives. In the more squalid areas in the urban centers, pregnant women are often undernourished, and their babies are born underweight. Some are born with deformities, or worse, they die at birth or shortly after.

 

Immediately after giving birth, these new mothers are forced to get up and attend not only to the needs of their newborns, but the needs of the rest of their families. If employed, to go back to work. Those who are homemakers fight their fatigue and perform their duties as such. If some suffer from postnatal depression, there is no way to diagnose it: ever so often in the seedier tabloids there are reports of mothers suffocating their babies or drowning them in nearby canals.

Then the mothers face the challenge of struggling to be always strong, not so much for themselves, but for their children.

 

The social, political and economic realities of life in a country as backward as the Philippines are without doubt harsh,and especially for children. Because of a system of government that lays siege to the most fundamental of human rights — the right to protect the self and to live in dignity and peace — mothers suffer seeing their children grow up lacking adequate food, safe shelter, good education, access to immediate medical attention.As for their children, thankfully, many are blissfully unaware of what society has denied them.

 

The sacrifices of mothers are myriad, and they never end, but because of the bond of love, these sacrifices are willingly shouldered, even embraced.

 

Judilyn Oliveros and her son have a long and difficult struggle ahead of them as citizens of a country wherein social justice is but a phrase that means very little to those in power. As political detainees, they now suffer being directly denied their right as innocent civilians to be free.

Judilyn, it is certain, now thinks and worries of her son’s welfare more often than she does about her own.

 

What anger she justly feels against the injustice done against her and the rest of the Morong 43 is without doubt sharpened by the knowledge that her imprisonment also means imprisonment for her son. She is a mother now, and all the commitment she has devoted to her political advocacy and acknowledged duty as a health worker serving the poor can only be strengthened by the love she has for her child.

 

She remains true to her calling, and her fight for freedom is also a fight for her son. Given this, the unjustness of her plight should anger all mothers, and all those who believe in justice.

Free Judilyn Oliveros and son! Free the 43!

The Health Alliance for Democracy, Karapatan, and Gabriela are also campaigning for the immediate release on human grounds of another member of the Morong 43, 27-year old Mercy Castro. Mercy is seven months pregnant and is expected to give birth in October.

 

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BONUS (REWIND) TRACKS:

Mother and child in the time of the dictator Marcos

           

Judy Taguiwalo, now UP Faculty Regent, was imprisoned at Camp Crame from 1984 to March 1, 1986.  She gave birth to her first child on June 15, 1984. Unlike Judilyn of Morong 43 in the time of Aquino III, Judy in the time of Marcos was escorted back to prison without handcuffs and could therefore hold her first born close to her.

 

In prison, which she shared with her daughter for most of her detention years, Judy wrote a poem, Sanggol sa Crame.

 

 

Posted below are some scanned pages from the section,  CHILDREN, of the book "Images During Martial Law" published by the Socio-Pastoral Institute.

 

           
     
     
     
     
     
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