Artists exhibit artworks in support of the struggle

of the Morong 43 community health workers

 

UP-PGH, Manila

 

August 23, 2010

 

■   Video clips

 

 

 

 

We must always remember that the people will not be aroused and mobilized unless the literary and artistic work is drawn from their lives, particularly from their needs and aspirations. We bring to a higher plane the actions and thinking of the revolutionary masses so as to inspire them further to destroy and triumph over the enemy. The heroes that emerge from our work should be the people themselves and their superlative representatives who are tempered in the crucible of the revolution. The revolutionary struggle should be the essence of the organic unity of a literary or artistic work.

 

--- Jose Maria Sison, in a message to cultural group PAKSA in 1971

 

 
 
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xPRESS RELEASE

AUGUST 23, 2010

Artists troop to PGH to exhibit 43 artworks for the Morong 43, denounce the inhumane transfer of the detained Mom and her baby to jail

Artists, employees of PGH, families and friends of the detained 43 health workers gathered today in the 5th series of the mobile art exhibit called Fact Sheet 43 (43 Artists for the 43 Health Workers) to denounce the inhumane transfer of one of the Morong 43, Judilyn Oliveros and her 3-week-old infant son from the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) to Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan.

Oliveros gave birth by caesarian section at the PGH on July 22. The Morong Regional Trial Court denied her petition for release on recognizance in order for her to breastfeed her baby for six months outside prison. Another detainee, Ms. Mercedes Castro, will also soon give birth on October. “We strongly denounce the decision of the Morong RTC to transfer Oliveros and her baby to jail. We think that it is inhumane to jail a 3-week-old infant ”, says Vincent Silarde, a member of Artists’ Arrest and also a participating artist in the exhibit.

The Morong 43 were illegally arrested, detained and tortured last February 6 while they were having a medical training in a farm house in Morong, Rizal. The police and military in the 202nd Brigade did not present any warrant of arrest and they were held incommunicado for five days.

According to Mr. Silarde, Fact Sheet 43 art exhibit is intended to challenge incoming president Noynoy Aquino to address the problem of human rights abuse perpetrated by the Arroyo presidency. In particular, the artists, together with the family of the health workers appeal to the incoming administration for the immediate release of the 43 and those responsible for the violations be brought to justice.

Begun in 2008, Fact Sheet derives its title from the name of the document prepared by paralegal and human rights volunteers in relation to reported cases of human rights violations. Since then, the exhibit has been shown in UP Los Baños, UP Diliman, Baclaran Church, Mendiola , Taumbayan Gallery and Tomato Bomb HQ in Quezon City and also in abroad, at Manilatown in San Francisco and Oakland, California.

This year’s leg of the exhibit features artworks inspired by the plight of the 43 health workers illegally arrested, detained and tortured by the Arroyo government. The opening program was held today at 8:30am, at the Philippine General Hospital, Central Block Lobby, Ground Floor. The exhibit will run from August 23-31, 2010.

The opening program featured live art, performances by different artists, short discussion on the plight of the 43 health workers and a rendition of poetry for the 43. It was welcomed by Mr. Benjamin Santos, President of All UP Workers Union, a message of support was delivered by UP Manila Chancellor Ramon Arcadio, M.D and the ribbon cutting was initiated by the Chancellor and Vice Chancellor Orlino O. Talens and family of Morong 43.

PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES:

· Artworks based on actual testimonies of the 43 health workers. Featuring the works of Leonilo Doloricon, associate professor in college of fine arts in UP Diliman, Bobby Balingit, Kiri Dalena, Marika Constatino,WesValenzuela and many more.

· Live Art depicting (symbolically) the arrest and torture experienced by the 43 health workers.

 

     
           
     
     
     

 

Morong 43's New Mom Asserts Her Rights and That of Her Child
Published on August 21, 2010

Twenty armed men in three vehicles took her from her hospital room in handcuffs. She was separated from her baby. They took her away swiftly while her mother was settling her hospital bills. This detainee is not a high profile, dangerous criminal, but a health worker and political detainee.

By RONALYN OLEA
Bulatlat.com

“I felt like I am an Ampatuan,” Carina Judilyn Oliveros blurted out as she described how the guards of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) took her and her baby out of the hospital on Aug. 18.

Carina Oliveros with her baby at the Philippine General Hospital. Authorities will send her back to jail anytime soon. (Photo by Ronalyn V. Olea / bulatlat.com)

Oliveros, one of the Morong 43, gave birth to her first child on July 22 at the Philippine General Hospital in Manila. The 43 health workers were arrested on Feb. 6 in Morong, Rizal by virtue of a search warrant against a certain Mario Condes who was never found. They were held in military captivity for almost three months before they were transferred to Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan. They have been charged with illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

The Ampatuans, meanwhile, are suspects in last November’s massacre of 57 individuals, mostly journalists, in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao.

“There were about 20 of them, all armed,” Oliveros said in describing the soldiers who took her and her baby out of the hospital. “Some were carrying long firearms. About ten went inside our [hospital] room.” Oliveros initially refused to go with the BJMP guards but she was told the court has ordered her immediate transfer to Camp Bagong Diwa.

Judge Gina Cenat Escoto of Morong Regional Trial Court Branch 78 rejected the petition filed by Oliveros’ counsels for her temporary release on recognizance due to humanitarian reasons. In a decision dated Aug. 16, the court ordered the BJMP to immediately return Oliveros to the detention facility. The court said there was no basis for granting the release.

“I just wanted to hold my child but they did not allow that until we got inside the vehicle,” Oliveros said.

“They handcuffed me but they did not want the public to see it. I told them, ‘Don’t cover the handcuffs.’ As I was being brought out of the room, I shouted repeatedly ‘Free the 43!’” Oliveros said. “The people looked at us. They have probably seen my picture at the posters outside the hospital,” she said.

“Why would I be ashamed? I told them I am not ashamed of what I’m doing. We, the 43, are not criminals,” Oliveros explained. She was accompanied by Fr. Dionito Cabillas of Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Para sa Amnestiya (Selda) and a staff of the Health Alliance for Democracy (Head) back to Camp Bagong Diwa. Oliveros noted that the BJMP had used three vehicles to fetch her.

In a separate interview, Oliveros’s mother Sheila expressed disgust at the BJMP personnel. “They told me to arrange the hospital billing but when I came back to the room, Judilyn and my grandson were gone. They took them away and I did not even get a chance to talk to my daughter,” she said.

Oliveros said that before the vehicle sped away, she saw her mother outside the hospital lobby, crying. “I was crying, too. I knew that she felt bad that I was treated like a criminal,” Oliveros said as she fought back tears.

At the Detention Cell

Determined to breastfeed her three-week-old baby, Oliveros brought her child to the detention cell she shares with 22 other women detainees, all members of the Morong 43.

The cell was damp, overcrowded and poorly ventilated. Oliveros said there were bed mites and a big rat in their room.

She said the BJMP promised to provide her baby a separate wooden bed, but it never came.

“On our first night here, my baby found it hard to sleep. The next few days have been slightly better,” she said, adding that her colleagues help her take care of the baby. “They all wanted to kiss him and hold him. Later, we agreed that a maximum of three women may hold him for a day,” Oliveros said.

She said the jail warden told her that after a week, they would take the baby out of the detention cell. “They told me to give him to my mother or else, they would give my baby to the DSWD [Department of Social Welfare and Development],” Oliveros said.

“This is an additional injustice to Judilyn. As much like being 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 physical torture in the hands of the military,” the Morong 43 said in a statement released to the media.

“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,” the Morong 43 statement read. “Need Judilyn and baby have to suffer more? Is justice and humaneness elusive again as in the era of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo?”?
“It is cruel and deplorable,” said Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Luz Ilagan.

Judilyn Oliveros is returned to the BJMP detention facility in Bicutan in handcuffs and on a wheelchair after the Morong Regional Trial Court denied her motion for release on recognizance. (Photos courtesy of Free the 43 Alliance)

“Camp Bagong Diwa is no place to rear a child, much less a baby. Jails are not safe and healthy places for infants,” she said. To subject a newborn to these unhealthy conditions is downright heartless. Judilyn Oliveros should be allowed to care and breastfeed her baby outside of Camp Bagong Diwa,” said?Ilagan.

The congresswoman further said that the court’s decision violates the baby’s right to be fed, to be raised and to develop in a healthy and normal environment and in conditions of freedom and dignity, in accordance with the United Nations’ Declaration on the Rights of the Child.

Continuing Protests

The women of Morong 43 held a noise barrage the day after Oliveros was transferred to the BJMP. On Aug. 19, no visitors were allowed inside as a “disciplinary measure against the Morong 43 women,” according to the BJMP personnel.

“We are outraged at the prison official’s drastic and inhumane response to the female detainees’ peaceful expression of discontent. They did not violate any prison policy and thus did not deserve such maltreatment,” Carlos Montemayor, spokesperson of the Free the 43 Health Workers! Alliance, said.

“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,” said Cristina Palabay of Tanggol Bai, an association of women human-rights defenders.

“This manifests the worse injustices being experienced by Oliveros and child, as well as the rest of the Morong 43, who are already 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 of Selda said.

Appeal

Ilagan said the court’s decision is ‘an injustice to Judilyn and her baby and should immediately be reconsidered.’

The counsels of the Morong 43 have filed a motion for reconsideration.

Oliveros said Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Commissioner Ma. Victoria Cardona and CHR lawyers visited them on Aug. 20. “They told me they would support our appeal to the court for my temporary release,” she said.?

“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,” the Morong 43 said.

Ilagan pressed for the immediate dismissal of cases lodged against the 43 health workers. She said “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.” (Bulatlat.com)

 

     
     
     
     
           
           
     
     
           

 

Two Women Political Prisoners During Martial Law Join Calls for Release of Two Pregnant Women of the Morong 43
Published on July 24, 2010

By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
Bulatlat.com

MANILA – Professor Judy Taguiwalo of the University of the Philippines made an urgent appeal through Facebook on behalf of two women political detainees, from among the Morong 43, who are pregnant but still languishing in jail at Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan.

“As a former detainee during the Marcos years, I was aghast by their experience during the early days of their captivity. We join the call to have the two pregnant women political detainees released immediately for humanitarian reasons. This was done during the martial law years and I cannot see any reason why this cannot be done by the present government,” Taguiwalo said in her note posted at the social networking site.

Carina Oliveros, 27 would be giving birth to her first child any time soon. Mercy Castro, 26, would give birth to her second child in October. Both women are health workers from Central Luzon who were among those arrested in while conducting a health training in a farm house in Morong, Rizal on February 6.

Taguiwalo visited the two pregnant women in jail. “They do not even have a place to walk on. Their cell is congested and even the female quarters are also congested,” Taguiwalo told Bulatlat.

“Pregnant women who are not guilty of any crime do not belong in jail. These two pregnant women are health workers who serve the people,” Taguiwalo said.

Recalling Their Own Ordeal

Taguiwalo herself went through the same ordeal during martial law. Taguiwalo was already four months pregnant when she was arrested in1984. Although her pregnancy was not delicate, she could not eat properly then.

(Photo by: Anne Marxze D. Umil / bulatlat.com)

Marie Hilao-Enriquez, Karapatan chairperson, was among the first activists arrested in1974. Her husband was also arrested at that time. She was not yet pregnant at the time of her arrest. She joined the hunger strike for the release of two other women political prisoners who were pregnant. “We held the hunger strike while in detention in Fort Bonifacio. I collapsed because of that and then I discovered that I was also pregnant,” said Enriquez.

Until Enriquez and all other political prisoners were transferred to Camp Crame, the women and men political prisoners were detained in separate cells. It was difficult for her, Enriquez admitted.

Both Taguiwalo and Enriquez underwent regular pre-natal check-up by the doctor in Camp Crame. They also took care of themselves; they walked inside the jail premises to have some exercise. Relatively, their situation inside jail then was different from the situation Oliveros and Castro are now in. Unlike them, Enriquez and Taguiwalo had more spacious cells.

Their needs such as vitamins and baby’s needs were provided by their relatives and other supporters. They were also provided with food to augment the jail rations. “The food inside the jail was not very good, so the political prisoners cooked their own food,” Taguiwalo related.

“The donations were centralized so that everybody had their share. The first ones who got their shares were the pregnant women and those who were sick,” Enriquez said.

Nursing Babies in Jail

Both Taguiwalo and Enriquez gave birth to healthy babies. They both delivered their babies at the Camp Crame Station Hospital. Unlike Taguiwalo who was accompanied by her mother, Enriquez was alone when she gave birth. Her husband was allowed to visit her but was not permitted to stay and take care of her while in the hospital.

Enriquez’s detention was more hostile. The commanding officer of the Constabulary Security Unit (CSU) threatened to take her baby away from her. Enriquez said, “They were scandalized because of the presence of my baby. The head of the CSU wants to give my baby to an orphanage, but I defiantly told him, ‘if you could do that to your own child, then why don’t you send them instead?’”

Her anxiety caused by the threat that her baby would be taken from her resulted in difficulties in breastfeeding. When they went on hunger strike for their release, the soldiers cut off the electricity and water supply in their cell. However, the military eventually gave in after two hunger strikes in 1976 and released Enriquez and the two other women political detainees.

(Photo Courtesy of Judy Taguiwalo / bulatlat.com)

Taguiwalo’s experience was different. During that time, from 1984 to 1985, the support of international organizations, human rights groups and church organizations was overwhelming. “We all could feel that it was only a matter of time before we would be released,” she said. But like Enriquez, she was also stressed out. She was not able to breastfeed because she had no milk. Taguiwalo recovered with the help of her fellow political prisoners. They took turns in taking care of her baby so that she could sleep and eat. They also took turns washing her baby’s clothes. The late Crispin Beltran was among the fellow political prisoners who helped her a lot. Taguiwalo was released after the first people power uprising that installed the late Corazon Aquino as president in 1986.

Prison Not a Place for Mothers and Babies

(Photo Courtesy of Judy Taguiwalo / bulatlat.com)

Taguiwalo’s daughter Inday June, now 26, said she was aware of her mother’s detention. “Mama told me of our experience during her detention, and how her fellow political detainees helped her when I was still a baby. By that I know that to have a baby and raise her in prison is difficult. The condition is just not right for children,” June, told Bulatlat.

Taguiwalo said a prison is not a place for nursing mothers and babies. Making it worse is the fact that women political prisoners, such as the two from the Morong 43, committed no criminal offenses.

Taguiwalo said President Benigno S. Aquino III should prioritize holding Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo accountable for her crimes and giving justice to the victims of human rights violations. “He should also order the immediate release of Oliveros and Castro and all the political prisoners. If he does the opposite, then he would not be faithful to the legacy of his mother.” (Bulatlat.com)
 

     
     
     
     
           
     
     
           

 

KARAPATAN-Central Visayas
Press Release

06 July 2010

At the Height of PNoy Fever
Cebu PolDets Fast for Morong 43's Release

Cebu City – At exactly five months after the illegal arrest, detention and torture of the 43 health workers in Morong, Rizal, the political detainees in Cebu held a one-day fasting on 06 July 2010. From 5:00 in the morning until 11:00 in the evening, political detainees Ramon Patriarca, Albert Acerdin of Danao City Jail and Jigger Geverola, at Camp Lapu-Lapu, suspended their regular meals and fed themselves
biscuits and water, instead.

According to Jigger Geverola, one of the political prisoners, “We launched this sympathy fast to demand to the newly installed president Benigno Aquino III the immediate release of the Morong 43 and all the
212 political prisoners across the country”.

To recall, on 06 February, 2010, 43 health workers, including Dr. Alexis Montes, a former Socio-Pastoral Coordinator of the Visayas Community Medical Center and Dra. Merry Mia Clamor, wife of KARAPATAN
Deputy Secretary General Jigs Clamor were illegally arrested, detained and tortured by the elements of the 202nd Infantry Brig. PA.

“Dr. Alexis Montes served several urban poor communities in Cebu. Because of his intense desire to help those deprived of their right to proper medical treatment and healthcare, Cebuanos, especially those in
the urban poor communities loved Dr. Montes. We cannot fathom why the state through the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police consider this noble act a threat to national security. Thus, we demand the immediate release of all the victims of Arroyo's political repression.” said Geverola.

The activity was in close coordination with KARAPATAN, the premier human rights alliance in Central Visayas. In conclusion, KARAPATAN reitirates its demand to release the Morong 43 and all political
detainees, who are all victims of Arroyo's political persecution.///


Reference:

Vimarie Arcilla, (032) 255-5549
Public Information Officer
KARAPATAN-Central Visayas

     
           
     
     
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August 7, 1971

MESSAGE OF JOSE MARIA SISON, KABATAANG MAKABAYAN FOUNDING CHAIRMAN  TO PAKSA ON THE TASKS OF CADRES IN THE  
CULTURAL FIELD
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(Read at the First National Congress of Panulat para sa Kaunlaran ng Sambayanan, PAKSA, December 18-19, 1971, Gonzales Hall, University of the Philippines, Quezon City)

THE CONFERENCE THEME, "Literature and the Mass Line", is well chosen. It manifest the distinctive character of PAKSA as a progressive and patriotic organization of writers, critics, teachers and students of literature, truly determined to serve the people.

To Serve the People is the Single Most Important Task

The single most important task of cadres in the cultural field is to serve the people. As the great Lu Hsun put it in a couplet:

Fierce-browed, I cooly defy a thousand pointing fingers, Head-bowed, like a willing ox I serve the children.

To serve the people now is to perform a definite role on the revolutionary struggle for national democracy against U.S. imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism. The cultural revolution is a distinct yet integral part of the revolutionary mass movement. Without the preparation of public opinion, there can be no revolution. In the course of the national democratic revolution, cultural work is always necessary to heighten the fighting spirit of the revolutionary masses.

Chairman Mao teaches us, "Revolutionary culture is a powerful revolutionary weapon for the broad masses of the people. It prepares the ground ideologically before the revolution comes and is an important, indeed essential, fighting front in the general revolutionary front during the revolution."

Chairman Mao points out, "All our literature and art are for the masses of the people, and in the first place for the workers, peasants and soldiers; they are created for the workers, peasants and soldiers and are for their use."

Cadres in the cultural field are like commanders who lead cultural battalions - the masses in their thousands, tens of thousands and millions. The audience for revolutionary literary and art work is incalculable. A stage performance or an exhibit can be repeated so many times that it is extremely difficult to keep count of the audience. The printing capacity of a press may be limited but a good literary work nevertheless gets passed from hand to hand and discussed without end. If our cultural work truly serves the people, our readers and audience are inevitably aroused and become a tremendous force for the revolution. The theme of this congress thereby becomes a material force in the same manner that a battlecry does in the field of combat.

We must always remember that the people will not be aroused and mobilized unless the literary and artistic work is drawn from their lives, particularly from their needs and aspirations. We bring to a higher plane the actions and thinking of the revolutionary masses so as to inspire them further to destroy and triumph over the enemy. The heroes that emerge from our work should be the people themselves and their superlative representatives who are tempered in the crucible of the revolution. The revolutionary struggle should be the essence of the organic unity of a literary or artistic work.

Chairman Mao teaches us, "(Our purpose is) to ensure that literature and art fit well into the whole revolutionary machine as a component part, that they operate as powerful weapons for uniting and educating the people and for attacking and destroying the enemy, and that they help the people fight the enemy with one heart and one mind".

Inasmuch as culture is the reflection of economics and politics, literature and art are the finest and most sensitive ideological forms for summing up social reality. We can create revolutionary literature and art only by carefully and meticulously keeping to the revolutionary stand, viewpoint and method of that class which leads the broad masses of the people in the life-and-death struggle between progress and reaction.

It is a bounden duty for revolutionary men of culture to be partisan to the leading revolutionary class, the proletariat, and to oppose the reactionary classes, the big bourgeoisie and the landlord class. Chairman Mao teaches us, "In the world today all culture, all literature and art belong to definite classes and are geared to definite political lines. There is in fact no such thing as art for art's sake, art that stands above classes, art that is detached from or independent of politics. Proletarian literature and art are part of the whole proletarian revolutionary cause; they are, as Lenin said, cogs and wheels in the whole revolutionary machine."

Remould your Class Outlook and Give Full Play to Criticism

We live in a society that is semi-colonial and semi-feudal. It is inevitable that practically all our cadres in the cultural field have at one time or another been deeply influenced by bourgeois and feudal culture and they continue to be so influenced in varying degrees. The dominant frame of mind among those educated in the present cultural system is bourgeois. In the era of imperialism, particularly in this era when imperialism is heading for total collapse and socialism is marching toward world victory, the bourgeois mind becomes so fantastic, regressive and desperate that it resorts to feudal mysticism in order to reinforce the most decadent influence of imperial culture and art.

As the revolutionary mass movement becomes stronger and stronger the reactionaries also deliberately allow the spread of social- democratic or revisionist literature in an attempt to infect our cadres with fears of revolutionary wars and nuclear weapons and with the philosophy of survival and capitulation.

It is the task of our cadres in the cultural field to keep on remoulding their class outlook. They must firmly combat all erroneous ideas and their own selfish tendencies with the lucid ideology of the proletariat, Marxism-Leninism, and integrate themselves with the masses in the practical revolutionary movement. Chairman Mao teaches us, "Our literature and art workers must accomplish this task and shift their stand; they must gradually move their feet over to the side of the workers, peasants and soldiers, to the side of the proletariat, through the process of going into their very midst and into the thick of practical struggles and through the process of studying Marxism and society.

Only in this way can we have a literature and art that are truly for the workers, peasants and soldiers, a truly proletarian literature and art."

It is an important task to undertake study sessions and seminars. Thoroughly study Chairman Mao's "Talks at the Yenan Forum on Literature and Art" as a comprehensive programme; his three great works on the rectification movement which precede all other articles in the Philippine selection entitled On Party Building; and, of course, the_________ Philippine selection entitled On Culture. Get hold of literary models in the great proletarian revolutionary tradition of Gorky and Lu Hsun and those literary models popularized in the course of China's Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. Find out how past and contemporary literary and art works stand in the light of the world achievements of proletarian literature and art.

It is an important task to be in the midst of the revolutionary mass movement. In the course of participating in the revolutionary struggles of the workers and peasants, our cadres in the cultural field will gain knowledge that they can never gain from textbooks alone. To conduct social investigation in the course of practical struggles is to gather the best material for a truly significant literature and art. One cannot write of the workers, peasants and soldiers without knowing them intimately.

Among the cultural workers, there is always enough practical and concrete basis for study and for criticism and self-criticism. The literary and artistic work that are created by them are subject to analysis and criticism. These are always subject to improvement. While the most advanced should be good at uniting with the less advanced cultural workers, who are willing to unite with us on the general line of the national democratic revolution, it should always be the task of the former to persuade the latter to further remould their outlook. Persuasion is our principal method of struggle with them.

We have no fear of criticism because our end is always to serve the people and therefore we must always be ready to give them the best that we can. Among our comrades and our friends we must have that ox-like modesty that Lu Hsun found appropriate to picture in his couplet. To the enemy, however, we are fierce and we must not show the least sign of obsequiousness.

Chairman Mao teaches us:

"In literary and art criticism there are two criteria, the political and the artistic...

There is the political criterion and there is the artistic criterion; what is the relationship between the two? Politics cannot be equated with art, nor can a general world outlook be equated with a method of artistic creation and criticism. We deny not only that there is an abstract and absolutely unchangeable political criterion, but also that there is an abstract and absolutely unchangeable artistic criterion; each class in every class society has its own political and artistic criteria. But all classes in all class societies invariably put the political criterion first and the artistic criterion second... What we demand is the unity of politics and arts, the unity of content and form, the unity of revolutionary political content and the highest possible perfection in artistic form. Works of art which lack artistic quality have no force, however progressive they are politically. Therefore, we oppose both works of art with a wrong political viewpoint and the tendency towards the
"poster and slogan style" which is correct in political viewpoint but lacking in artistic power. On questions of literature and art we must carry on a struggle on two fronts."

It is not enough to undertake criticism and self-criticism only among fellow craftsmen. Though it is necessary for those who have an interest in the same field of work to have a union, cultural workers should avoid restricting themselves to the guild mentality of the petty bourgeoisie in medieval times. We should make it a task to encourage criticism of our works by the masses. After a cultural performance or art exhibit, we should invite the audience to submit their critical remarks and suggestions for improvement. In our publications, we should also regularly call for these. Even before a piece of literary or artistic work is put out, certain efforts can be made to consult the masses or their representatives.

To provide an example of self-criticism, I wish to take this opportunity to criticize and repudiate before this group of writers as well as before the general public (since this article is to be mimeographed at least) the entire collection, Brothers with the exception of only five or six poems. The bulk of the poems cannot pass the test of proletarian revolutionary criticism. Though the collection was compiled in 1961 as properly indicated, it is bound to create erroneous influence without this repudiation. I hope that with this repudiation I shall be able to write better poems.

Infuse Revolutionary Class Content into Various Forms of Literature

It is appropriate to refer to the various forms of literature inasmuch as this article is presented before a group of writers, critics, teachers and students of literature. In this regard, we must be conscious of the task of infusing revolutionary class content into the various forms of literature: the essay, fiction, drama and poetry.

The need for having something to say, a clear ideology and political line, is most obvious in the essay form. There is daily a big pile of articles that may be subsumed under this form. The sheer weight of these in terms of newsprint is truly oppressive, mostly testaments as they are to the false virtues of the enemy. It is in the essay form, however, that the revolutionary mass movement has most expressed itself. It is inevitable that this form will always serve as the most explicit weapon for assaulting the enemy and defending the people.

In fiction, the short story has for quite a long time been the most popular form among Filipino creative writers. The novel form is quite neglected obviously because it requires sustained writing, something that our writers seem not to be able to cope with because they have to copywrite for an advertising firm, clerk in a government office or commercial house, work in a metropolitan newspaper or magazine or teach in a university. Short or long, fiction should be employed by revolutionary writers to serve the people.

Of the various literary forms, drama is the most in demand in the revolutionary mass movement today. The demand is stressed by the scarce quantity and low quality of the plays written for so long a period of time, and, more importantly, by the effectiveness of the drama in arousing and mobilizing the masses. This is a literary form that can be perceived and comprehended by the literate and non-literate masses when it is already staged. It is also a form by which local cultural groups can be most easily organized and by which local acting talents can be coordinated in great numbers. It is an exceedingly important task to write and produce revolutionary drama, one-act or full-length plays.

The zarzuela and comedia or moro-moro are traditional forms of drama that may be adopted by our revolutionary writers. Replace the mawkishness and class reconciliation in the zarzuela with the revolutionary spirit and proletarian standpoint; and foolish love songs with revolutionary songs. Replace the Christian chauvinism and the anti-Muslim line in the comedia or moro-moro with the tenets and values of a people's war waged by a people's army led by the proletarian part; and the thunder and lightning of the medieval crusade with the thunder and lightning of people's war. Of course, it is necessary to give these traditional forms of drama the compactness of modern drama.

There are other indigenous forms which can be as effective as the drama in promoting revolution. These are the balagtasan, the duplo and that indigenous and yet so universal form, poetry that lends itself to singing. These can be performed to precede or serve as intermission numbers when a dramatic presentation is done. These can also be presented exclusively on their own account.

It is worthwhile to go into script-writing for the movies, radio- -TV drama and the comics. It is difficullt to get a revolutionary movie script filmed at the moment because of the technical and financial requirements. But it is relatively easier to turn out comics and to produce drama over the radio. The movies, radio drama and the comics can be turned into our weapons.

It is the overriding task of revolutionary writers to infuse revolutionary class content into the various forms of literature and to make the workers, peasants and revolutionary soldiers the heroes under the red flag of the proletariat.

There should be no more debate concerning what national language to use. We are all committed to using the language of the masses, the language that can be understood throughout the country. It is Pilipino. Enrich this developing language with proletarian revolutionary literature. We must recognize at the same time that the local languages are also the language of the masses and these must also be enriched with proletarian revolutionary literature rather than put aside in our thinking. Instead of ignoring or scorning regional writers for their inability to write in Pilipino, we should encourage them to write proletarian revolutionary literature in the languages they are used to writing in and also persuade them to learn Pilipino so that they can learn not only the language but also the proletarian revolutionary literature already achieved in it.

Popularize Literary Models and Thereby Promote the Upsurge of Revolutionary Literature

The national democratic cultural revolution, under the leadership of the proletariat, has advanced brilliantly. So many writers have come to the forefront in the revolutionary struggle in the cultural field. They have come forward with works into which they have infused revolutionary class content as best as they could.

It is of basic importance to analyze and sum up the concrete situation in the field of literature from one stage to another. The purpose is to improve current literary stock, choose the exemplary works for popularization and set the tasks for raising the quantity and quality of further literary output.

At this stage, it is important for revolutionary writers to band together and make a conscious effort to create and promote literary models. These models should prove that revolutionary class content can be heightened and at the same time aesthetic standards can be raised. We must debunk all arguments of the bourgeoisie that only its ideas and motions can satisfy the demands of the various forms of literature. The best way to do the debunking is to create and promote brilliant proletarian revolutionary literature.

It is our task to make these literary models reach the factories, farms, schools and everywhere else in the country. By doing this, we promote the upsurge of revolutionary literature in our country.

JOSE MA. SISON
Founding Chairman
KABATAANG MAKABAYAN

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

 

The readers of Arkibong Bayan are invited to click: http://www.josemariasison.org/  This is the authorized website of Prof. Jose Maria Sison.  It has been recently restructured and improved by its editors.  Thank you for your attention.

 

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
           
     
     
           

 

NEWS RELEASE
23 August 2010

REFERENCE:
Lana Linaban, secretary general (0908-8653582) / Public Information Dept (0917-4661522)

Women’s group to Aquino admin:
Do the humane thing, free Judilyn and son.
Act on the Morong 43 case!

It would be inhumane to forcibly separate a nursing infant from his mother.

Women’s group GABRIELA urges the Morong RTC to decide with conscience and allow Judilyn Oliveros to breastfeed her month-old son in a safe and conducive place for at least six months.

Judilyn, one of the illegally arrested health workers collectively known as Morong 43, was returned last August 18 to Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City from the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) three weeks after giving birth by Caesarian section.

The lawyers of the Morong 43 from the Public Interest law Center (PILC) and the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) have filed a petition for Judilyn’s release to allow her to breastfeed her son for at least six months outside prison facility. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima has expressed support for the non-separation of Judilyn from her son.

Members of GABRIELA trooped with relatives and supporters of the illegally detained health workers to Morong RTC this morning for the hearing of the petition. The Morong RTC will come out with a decision tomorrow; either granting Judilyn’s petition or taking the baby out of Camp Bagong Diwa and away from his mother on August 25.

“We are deeply concerned over the welfare of the mother and child after they were both brought back to the prison facility. As a woman and mother, I could only imagine Judilyn’s pain of having to rear her baby inside a congested prison cell. The infant’s prolonged stay in Camp Bagong Diwa is a big threat to his health. It is common knowledge that there are a lot of diseases that the infant can catch in the prison facility, from common colds to serious ones like tuberculosis,” said Lana Linaban, GABRIELA secretary general.

However, GABRIELA stresses, taking the child away from his mother would be equally detrimental. According to the group, preventing the baby to be breastfed by his mother is harmful to the child’s nutrition, and denies him not only the physical, but also the psychological bonding with his mother.

“We will oppose the forcible separation of the mother and child,” said Linaban.

“In fact, we demand to the Aquino administration to hasten review of the case of the Morong 43 and subsequently order the release of the illegally detained health workers. Judilyn and her son’s condition highlights the continuing violation of the detainees’ rights, and emphasizes the need for the hasty resolution of the case of the Morong 43,” added Linaban.

“Our message to President Aquino: this is the chance to finally DO something big. Release the Morong 43 as gesture of your commitment to justice and democracy. Not acting on the case of Judilyn and the rest of the illegally detained health workers is only a tacit approval to the injustices done by the previous administration,” said Linaban. ###

Public Information Department
GABRIELA National Office
(+632) 3712302

     
     
     
     
     
     

 

August 10, 2010
*Reference: Sr. Edit Eslopor, OSB – 881-0910 *
*Media Release*

Community based health programs gather to reaffirm commitment to serve amid
repression and economic crisis

In the light of the intensifying persecution of health workers in the
Philippines, health professionals and volunteer Community Health Workers
(CHWs) gather today in an assembly meant to reaffirm their dedication and
commitment to serve impoverished communities. Themed *“reaffirm our
commitment to serve the people amidst intensifying repression and worsening
economic crisis”*, the event is Council for Health and Development’s (CHD)
10th General Assembly of Community Based Health Programs in the Philippines.

“Delegates come from different regions such as Bicol, Southern Tagalog,
Central Luzon, National Capital Region, Eastern Visayas, Central and Western
Visayas, Northern Mindanao, Caraga, SOCSSARGENDS, and the Zamboanga
Peninsula who have braved and survived different risks in community health
service,” Sister Edit Eslopor, OSB, chairperson of the Board of Trustees of
CHD said.

She added that Community Health Workers themselves are victims of continuous
harassments. “Despite the odds, community based health programs staff and
CHWs hold on to their commitment to serve the poor and put people’s
interests above self,” Sr. Edit shared.

“What happened to the ‘Morong 43’ may have sowed fear among our CHWs and
CBHP staff, but it is only temporary. CBHPs have been around since 1973 and
have endured countless obstacles but because of the ever worsening condition
of our public health care system and the absence of basic social services
especially in the rural areas, the need for community based health programs
continue to arise and prove its effectiveness through various social and
economic conditions,” she furthered.

Council for Health and Development is the national secretariat of more than
50 community based health programs in the Philippines. Along with Community
Medicine Development Foundation (COMMED), they sponsored the “First
Responders’ Health Skills Training” in Morong, Rizal where 43 health workers
in the training were illegally arrested and detained. ##
--
KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People's Rights

For more options, visit this group at
http://groups.google.com/group/karapatan-updates?hl=en?hl=en

 

     
           
     
     
           
The Morong 43
     
     

 

Press Statement by the Morong 43 detainees from Camp Bagong Diwa
 

We, the 43 health workers (Morong 43), are on a protest fast since August 21. We denounce the continuing gross violation of our human rights and the denial of the rule of law on our case. We protest the inhumane and unjust decision of the lower court to bring Judilyn Oliveros and her baby back to prison.

We were arrested last February 6 2010 while undergoing community health training. The arrest was based on a defective warrant. In detention, we were subjected to physical and psychological torture while kept blindfolded and handcuffed in the hands of the military. We had experienced prolonged torture and solitary confinement. We were denied counsel during our arrest and after 36 hours of torture. We are languishing in jail for seven months now.

Recently, the lower court denied the motion for release on recognizance for Judilyn and her baby. The decision of the lower court is utterly inhumane. Prison conditions for a baby and mother are very harsh. Aside from 23 female inmates jampacked in one detention cell, all kinds of infectious diseases including tuberculosis are afflicting us like plague. Big rats have already bitten some inmates.

We demand the immediate release of Judilyn and her baby. We ask Pres. Benigno Simeon Aquino III to emulate his mother, the late Pres. Corazon Aquino, to release all political prisoners as a democratic and goodwill measure.

Reference:
Dr. Geneve Rivera-Reyes
Mobile Number: 0920 460 3712

Carlos Montemayor, RN
Mobile Number: 0922 499 6237

For the Free the 43 Health Workers! Alliance

     
           
           
     
     

 

On the Inhumane Justice Based on the Illegal Arrest and Detention of the 43 Community Health Workers
An Open Letter to President Benigno C. Aquino III

We are the 43 accused community health workers also known as the Morong 43. We were conducting a week long First Responders Training Program co-sponsored by two non-government organizations, the Community Medicine Foundation Incorporated (COMMED) and the Council for Health and Development (CHD), at the training venue of Dr. Melicia Velmonte. Among us are two medical doctors, a registered nurse, two midwives, two health educators and 36 volunteer community health workers. This training was an offshoot of the two NGO’s participation in medical and relief mission during the calamity brought by typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng.

At 6am of February 6, some 300 military men in full battle gear composed of the 2nd Infantry Division of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Rizal Provincial Police raided the venue. They blindfolded and handcuffed most of us and brought us to Camp Capinpin, Tanay, Rizal without even showing a search or arrest warrant, nor did they wait for our lawyers. There our ordeal began and violations of our human rights continued.

We were illegally arrested based on a defective warrant. We only came to know during our first appearance that a search warrant was issued under the name of a certain Mario Condes who was unknown to the owner of the venue and their neighborhood.

We were not informed of the case charged against us by the military until after 36 hours of torture. Worse, we were denied access to legal counsel while State Prosecutor Senson in the presence of the military charged us of illegal possession of fire arms and explosives. It was only on February 11, five days after our arrest did they file the charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives at the RTC Branch 78, Morong Rizal, which was a clear violation of our rights as accused.

We had been tortured psychologically and physically in the hands of the military in Camp Capinpin. We also experienced sexualized torture by the military guards by pulling down our pants and underwear when we go to the toilet. We had been kept under solitary confinement and prolonged torture.

Last March, five of our companions were forcibly taken out from their detention cells. They were threatened and cajoled offers of freedom, cash, house and lot if they cooperate with the military to be state witnesses against us. We are now on our seventh month of illegal detention with no speedy and impartial action on our filing of the writ of habeas corpus since April 2010.

In our prolonged detention, one of our pregnant companions gave birth to a baby boy. Judilyn Oliveros and her baby were brought back to prison on the basis of a denied motion for her release recognizance (for humanitarian grounds) at the RTC Branch 78 in Morong. Mercy Castro, the other pregnant detainee was not brought out for check up last July 13 or 14 even on the basis of a court order granting her check up.

We are innocent of the charges filed against us. We believe and condemn the continuing injustice and gross violation of our human rights by prolonging our detention. We are victims of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s abuse of power and her desperate egoistic drive to boost her declining credibility and power.

We strongly condemn the inhumane and unjust decision done to Judilyn by bringing her and her baby back to prison. Prison is a harsh place and unjust for a baby to get nourishment from her mother. Fever, cold, cough, and influenza and risks of being infected with tuberculosis is a continuous threat at the detention, aside from being jampacked in one cell. Big rats had bitten some of the female detainees here.

Consistent with your call for the respect for human rights, we appeal to President Benigno Aquino III for a just, humane and speedy action by releasing us unconditionally. We believe that the president understands how a violation of human rights victim feels since he and his family were witnessesn andvictims to what happened to his father by the fascist Marcos rule. We also understand how the late former President Cory Aquino had released political prisoners in the first year of her term.

Release the Morong 43!
Release all prolitical prisoners!

Dr. Merry Mia-Clamor (detainee)
For the Morong 43

     
     
           
     
     
     

 

Court grants Judilyn Oliveros' plea to breastfeed child outside jail
 

Free the 43 Health Workers! Alliance today announced that the lower court has finally granted Carina Judilyn Oliveros' plea to breastfeed her month-old son outside Camp Bagong Diwa.

In a decision issued yesterday, Presiding Judge Gina F. Cenit-Escoto of the Morong Regional Trial Court Branch 78 ruled that mother and baby be allowed to stay at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) on the basis filed by Oliveros' legal counsels stating that allowing accused to breastfeed her infant in PGH would substantially serve the purpose of their original Motion for Release on Recognizance for Humanitarian Reasons. The order further stated that the grant of the instant motion would result to avoidance of any harm and danger that the child may suffer while in Camp Bagong Diwa, including the unjust incarceration of the said child in a detention facility.

Oliveros will be allowed to stay in Philippine General Hospital for a period of three (3) months. This is a positive development for Judilyn's plea and the case of the Morong 43 as a whole, Carlos Montemayor, spokesperson of the alliance said.Montemayor added that though they are disappointed that the court did not grant Oliveros plea for a 6-month period to stay at the PGH, they are still relieved that Judge Cenit-Escoto ruled in favor of Oliveros and her baby.

This welcome development is clearly the result of the unwavering perseverance of the detainees, their families and supporters to further the call to free the Morong 43. We also hope that Mercy Castro, one of the 43 detained health workers, due to give birth on October, would not have to suffer the ordeal that Judilyn and her baby experienced. We continue to challenge President Noynoy Aquino to prove that he is sincere in upholding justice and democracy by releasing the Morong 43 and all political prisoners in the country, Montemayor concluded.## Reference:
 

Carlos Montemayor, RN
Cellphone Number: 0922 499 6237

           
     
     
           

 

NEWS RELEASE
30 July 2010
Reference: Joms Salvador, deputy secretary general (0918-9182150)

Gabriela to Aquino: Let justice reign
Free Judilyn and baby! Free Myrna Cruz Abraham

Members of the militant women’s group GABRIELA held a protest action today at Mendiola to express their indignation at the continued detention of women political prisoners Judilyn Oliveros and Myrna Cruz-Abraham despite the absence of legal basis for their detention.

“It was a relief for a people whose rights were violated to see Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo out of the palace. The Filipino people were sold with a promise that the new administration would ensure that justice and truth reigns, but this new administration’s sluggishness in responding to the most urgent demands of the people, such as the release of women and all political prisoners, is highly alarming,” said Joms Salvador, deputy secretary general of GABRIELA.

Morong 43’s Judilyn Oliveros, with her newborn son, is still held as detainee by the Armed Forces of the Philippines despite strong grounds cited in the motion for release on recognizance for humanitarian grounds filed in her behalf.

Another political prisoner, Myrna Cruz Abraham who languishes in a jail in Tuguegarao City since March 22, is still denied her freedom despite various recommendations for her release. The court has previously decided that the charges against her were unfounded and unsupported with evidence.

Myrna is a development consultant who has worked with GABRIELA and the peasant sector over the years in providing education and trainings to people from the grassroots. She was slapped with charges of murder and violation of election gun ban in the previous elections.

“One after another, these made-up cases against Myrna were found to be baseless. She, her family and supporters are severely disappointed that several scheduled court hearings for Myrna’s release were foiled with the most inane excuses,” Salvador said.

Like Myrna, GABRIELA believes that the AFP, particularly the 17th Infantry Division is behind these delaying tactics.

“We are indignant that the courts condone such acts by the AFP and become willing tools to suppress and violate the rights of these women. It is with urgency that we call Aquino to act on this matter,” said Salvador.

Meanwhile, Myrna’s daughter Gem Abraham who was also present at the protest action issued an appeal to Aquino.

“If there is one who could relate and empathize the most with our suffering now, it is him. He and his family experienced it firsthand how it was to see a loved one behind bars because of his political conviction. Being the president, he has the power to grant our mother Myrna freedom, to let Judilyn take care of her baby outside of prison, and for other political prisoners to regain their freedom. We ask President Aquino to intervene in the case of political prisoners now,” said Abraham

GABRIELA reiterated that Aquino has yet to deliver his promises and that his predecessor’s serious record of human rights violations is no excuse for him to sit on the urgency of addressing the issue.

“Rhetoric on justice is not enough; what we need here is the president’s decisive intervention as chief executive. He needs to prove that political repression is not his administration’s policy. He needs to act now and act fast lest he lose the trust of the people,” warned Salvador. ###

Public Information Department
GABRIELA National Office
(+632) 3712302

     
     
     
     
     

 

NEWS RELEASE
30 July 2010
Reference: Joms Salvador, deputy secretary general (0918-9182150)

GABRIELA demands release of Morong 43’s Judilyn and her newborn son

What government will put a newborn and his young mother behind bars?

The militant women’s group GABRIELA posed this question in a press conference this morning as they demanded the immediate release based on humanitarian grounds of Judilyn Carina Oliveros, one of 43 health workers dubbed as the Morong 43.

Oliveros gave birth to a baby boy last July 22 at the Philippine General Hospital but the Morong Regional Trial Court has ordered her return to Camp Bagong Diwa within three days to one week.

“It is inhumane for the court to order a nursing mother to go back to prison with her newborn child. We could only imagine Judilyn’s turmoil as none could be more horrid for a mother than the thought of her child being put in peril,” said Joms Salvador, deputy secretary general of GABRIELA.

GABRIELA stressed that mother and child needs post-natal care and medical attention that a detention facility like Camp Bagong Diwa cannot provide due to its lack of facilities and its prison’s poor state of environment.

“Judilyn’s case is a human rights issue as it is a reproductive health issue. Her detention in camp together with her newborn son is violative of her rights as a woman and as a human being. It would also seriously imperil the safety and violate the rights of her child,” Salvador added.

GABRIELA said that while the case of Morong 43 bared further the culture of impunity that the former administration of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo sowed, they also present a strong challenge to the current administration to heed the clamor for the release of Judilyn and the rest of the Morong 43 in view of the illegality of their arrest and continued detention.

“Aquino promised that justice will reign during his presidency. We challenge him to stay true to this promise by immediately intervening in the case of Judilyn and the rest of the Morong 43. We particularly urge him to take heart in the plight of a young mother afraid for the safety and welfare of her child,” Salvador said.

GABRIELA also said that they are taking necessary steps to gather international support for the case of Judilyn, the women of Morong 43 and all women political prisoners.

“We shall not rest until Aquino sees the necessity of freeing the women and all political prisoners. It is only through restoring their rights as citizens of this country and as human beings could Aquino begin to claim that political repression is not his administration’s policy,” Salvador said. ###

Public Information Department
GABRIELA National Office
(+632) 3712302

__._,_.___

     
     
           
     
     
           

 

When Signatures Take Wings: Support for the Morong 43 Continues!
by The Canada-Philippines Solidarity for
Human Rights (CPS-HR)

Political prisoners all agree that letters and cards, from friends and particularly from strangers, have always been treasured by them. Imbedded in these letters and cards is the power of words that lift up their spirits in prison where the military is bent on breaking their will and fragile hopes. “Please know that you are not forgotten,” is written on one of the cards for the detained 43 health workers, also know collectively as the “Morong 43” to indicate where they were arrested last February 2010. The Vancouver movement to free the “Morong 43” is assurance that the campaign is strong and determined for their release.

Ordinary men and women, appalled when told of the illegal arrest, torture and continued detention of the 43 health workers (2 doctors, a nurse, a midwide and 39 community health workers) amidst the deteriorating human rights situation in the Philippines, readily sign the “Release the 43” petition. The story of the detained health workers, which include two pregnant women, has touched the hearts of many in the Filipino community, as well as the Canadian public.

At the June 12 Independence Day event in Vancouver, at least 150 signatures were gathered by members of Migrante BC and the Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights (CPS-HR). Among those who signed were Member of Parliament Don Davies, City Councilor Geoff Meggs, and Member of the BC Legislative Assembly Mable Elmore.

At a potluck-gathering last June 24, delegates from the 2010 Peoples’ International Observers Mission (PIOM) to the Philippine National Elections gave brief report backs, complete with photos and video clips. Norma Dollaga, Secretary General of the Ecumenical Development Centre/KASIMBAYAN was the special guest. At this event, Canadians and Filipinos added their signatures to the petition and wrote messages of solidarity to the detained health workers on special freedom cards with the artwork of local artist Bert Monterona. The 43 cards featured Monterona's “Vision and Hope for Justice and Peace” on the front. At least 23 signatures were added to the petition count.

At the Lakeview Multicultural United Church last June 27, Rev. Brad Newcombe welcomed their Philippine guest Norma Dollaga, Secretary General of the Ecumenical Development Centre/KASIMBAYAN. She brought greetings of peace and solidarity from the Philippines. She thanked the invaluable work and support of the United Church of Canada as a global partner with KASIMBAYAN and other ecumenical institutions in the Philippines. She put a human face on partnership, bringing the story of Dr. Alexis Montes, an active member of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) and known as the “doctor of the poor.” He is one of the Morong 43, the group of health workers who were illegally arrested, tortured and continue to be detained. The case of the Morong 43 illustrates the terrible human rights situation in the Philippines. More people signed on to the petition for the release of the 43 and wrote their greetings on the cards.

On the eve of the Philippine inauguration of the new Philippine president Noynoy Aquino, an hour-long information picket for the Morong 43, in front of the Philippine Consulate, was organized by the Alliance for People's Health, a member organization of the League of Peoples' Struggle (ILPS). Supported and particpated in by fellow ILPS member, the Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights, with the Philippine-based KASIMBAYAN, Vancouver Elementary School Teachers Association (VESTA ) and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), the picket drew the attention of those waiting for their buses and of passersby. They stopped and listened when speakers spoke about the plight of the 43 health workers as they read the placards, banners and leaflets. Signatures were collected and cards were signed. Norma Dollaga urged the crowd to join her in the chanting for the 43: “Free, free the 43! Free, free the 43! No justice, no peace, Free the 43!”

A creative version of the written petition was organized earlier by artists Bert Monterona and Melissa Roxas last June 5. It took the form of a live-art petition or mural. At a busy corner in East Vancouver, in front of the Constituency office of MLA Mable Elmore, the public watched, and some even took up the paint brush, as adults and their children painted well-wishes for the detained 43 health workers on the canvas mural. In the film Dukot screenings and related events, at least a hundred signatures were collected as well.

The signatures for the Morong 43 have taken wings! The signed petitions are on their way, if not already in the hands of the new President and his Secretary of Justice, with the recommendation to ask that the Morong 43 be immediately released to their families so they can continue to render the much needed medical service to the poor and impoverished in their communities. In the interest of justice and human rights, President Noynoy Aquino can do no less than free the Morong 43 and other political prisoners, in the same way that his mother, the former President Cory Aquino, released the political prisoners when she became President in 1986.

The movement to free the detained Morong 43 and all political prisoners is steady and strong. Over 300 signatures were gathered and funds collected have been sent to the Morong 43 and their families. The commitment to continue the campaign until their freedom is gained is a promise. +++

July 5, 2010

Vancouver, BC Canada


-- KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People's Rights



 

     
     
     
     
     
           
VIDEO CLIPS
     
   
           
 

Links on the Morong 43

 

http://freethehealthworkers.blogspot.com/

http://chdphilippines.org/

 

http://aphvan.wordpress.com/

 

http://philippinessolidarity2008.blogspot.com/

Text of poem, Hudas:     Page 1     Page 2 Song for Morong 43
   
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