Free the Morong 43!

Call of human rights activists in various countries

 

■    Hongkong         ■     New Zealand         ■    Japan         ■    Canada        ■    Saudi Arabia      ■     Los Angeles     ■    New York City

 

November 6,  2010

 

■   International conference in Copenhagen adopts resolution calling for freedom for the Morong 43

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Bonus Tracks:

 

An Album (of 7 songs)  and a song the G20s don't want to hear

 

 

 

 

 

BAYAN - USA in Los Angeles
NDFP peace panel chair Luis Jalandoni ang member Coni Ledesma in New Zealand Migrante chapter in Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia
   
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Hong Kong

Hong Kong Campaign for the Advancement of Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines
Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines

     

 

Hong Kong Campaign for the Advancement of

Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines
c/o ASA, No. 4 Jordan Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR
Tel. (852) 98105070, 97409406        Fax. (852) 27354559
E-mail: hkcahrpp@gmail.com


Press Statement
06 November 2010
For reference:     Fr. Dwight dela Torre
                         Convenor, Tel. No.: (852) 98105070

 

President Aquino should make right the injustice against the Morong 43

Release the jailed health workers now

 

(Issued as part of the International Day of Action to Free the Morong 43 led by Karapatan and other human rights groups. Additionally, a video message of people in Hong Kong for today’s actions can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-y-xBWNMrBo )


The Hong Kong Campaign for Advancement of Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines (HKCAHRPP) calls on President Benigno Aquino III to make right the injustice committed against the Morong 43. The arrest, torture and continuing detention of the Morong 43 is a travesty of justice. They should be immediately released and the perpetrators of their unjust incarceration punished.

The arrest and the subsequent torture and continuing detention of the 43 violated three of their human rights enshrined in the very constitution the military and government prosecutors vowed to up hold:
1. The right to be secure from unreasonable seizure and arrest, 2. The right against illegal and incommunicado detention and torture (physical and psychological) and 3. The right to counsel and visitors.

Their detention may have been a result of the repression that has characterized the previous regime. But their continued detention up to now does not reflect well on the Aquino government’s promise of reversing what the Arroyo administration has done to the Filipino people. 

Nine months have passed and still, the 43 health workers – 26 of whom are women – suffer from the injustice and culture of impunity that apparently still pervade the country.

On 6 February 2010, the 43 were arrested in what turned out to be defective arrest warrants, and in their detention were subjected to torture. 

The military in their usual red scaring/red baiting tactics, claims that the Morong 43 were members of the New People’s Army and they were caught making bombs. The military further claimed that some of the 43 have pending cases in courts and at least two of them were involved in a failed plot to assassinate retired general and former congressman Jovito Palparan Jr.

To add insult to injury then president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo awarded the bronze cross medals Lt. Col. Jaime Abawag commander of the 16th Infantry Battalion and Col. Aurelio Baladad, commander of the 202nd Brigade, for their arrest of the 43. Rewarding these persons simply confirmed the commonly held notion that the military is above the law and can act with impunity.

If President Aquino can assert his authority and pardon the Oakwood mutineers, he can also order his government to stop the military’s fabrications to pave the way for the Morong 43’s release.

We further call on the President to indemnify the victims for the distress caused them; to relieve and file appropriate charges against the military officers who concocted this travesty of justice and to recall those medals.

We look forward to his sense of justice and to his fidelity to his campaign platform by releasing and indemnifying  the Morong 43 and by taking appropriate action against the military officers that continue to tarnish his administration.#
--
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hong Kong Campaign for the Advancement of
Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines

c/o ASA, No. 4 Jordan Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR
Tel. (852) 98105070, 97409406        Fax. (852) 27354559
E-mail: hkcahrpp@gmail.com

--

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
The Secretariat
United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK)
2/F., New Hall, St. John's Cathedral,
4 Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong SAR
Tel. (852) 3156-2447     Fax. (852) 2526-2894
E-mail: secretariat@unifil.org.hk
Website: http://www.unifil.org.hk
Blog: compatriots.blogspot.com
YouTube: www.youtube.com/unifilhk

 

 
     
     
           
     
     
     
           

 

PRESS RELEASE
9 November 2010

International conference in Copenhagen adopts resolution calling for freedom for the Morong 43

A resolution calling for the immediate release from detention of the Morong 43 was unanimously approved by the delegates to the International Conference on Solidarity, Defense and Struggle for Freedom of Political Prisoners in the World, held October 22-24, 2010 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The resolution condemned the illegal arrest, physical and mental torture and continuing unjust detention of the Morong 43, and called for their immediate release, especially the two nursing mothers and their babies delivered under detention. The resolution also called on the Aquino government to stop the alarming extra-judicial killings which include human rights advocates and defenders.

The resolution presented by Atty Remigio “Ming” Saladero Jr. of the Kilusang Mayo Uno (May First Movement, KMU), was discussed and prepared by the Workshop on the Philippines.

Attorney Saladero Jr and Cesar T. Taguba of BAYAN International-Europe also spoke during the plenary session and shared information regarding the suffering and struggle of political prisoners, on extrajudicial killings and disappearances from the time of the Marcos regime up to the current Benigno Aquino III government.

The conference approved the following proposals of the Philippine delegation: a). Adopt a political prisoner campaign b). Collection and popularization of the poems and songs written and composed by political prisoners and, c). Holding of an internationally coordinated Political Prisoners Day/Week.

The international conference was attended by delegates from Colombia, Palestine, Iran, Kurdistan, Denmark, Basque, Spain, Colombia, Philippine, Turkey and the US. They shared information about the death by torture, execution and massacre of political prisoners and the struggle against the so-called terrorist blacklisting.

The case of Mumia Abu-Jamal was highlighted. The conference delegates condemned the US-instigated “war on terror” and the global crisis as a result of capitalist greed. The conference was initiated by the Danish International Forum (IF).

MIGRANTE Europe
Postbus 15687, 1001 ND Amsterdam
 


MORONG 43 RESOLUTION

We, participants of the International Conference on Solidarity, Defense and Struggle for Freedom of Political Prisoners in the World, 22-24 Copenhagen, Denmark unanimously condemn the illegal arrest, torture and continuing unjust detention of 43 health workers-known as the Morong 43, by the Philippine government. We call for their immediate and unconditional release from detention, especially the 2 nursing mothers and their children.

At the time of their arrest, the Morong 43 were undergoing a Health Training Seminar organized by the Community Medicine Foundation and the Council for Health and Development. The training seminar was maliciously branded by the military as a “terrorist” training program using planted weapons and explosives-making devices as evidence. Among those arrested were 2 medical doctors, nurses and midwives, of which twenty-six are women.

The arresting force composed of 300 heavily armed men did not have a valid warrant of arrest. They deprived those arrested immediate legal assistance, kept them in isolation, prevented family visits and were subjected to physical and mental torture.

The arrest and detention of the Morong 43 violates the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

We join Philippine and international organizations in calling for their immediate release, especially of the 2 nursing mothers.

We strongly urge the Philippine government to stop the extra judicial killings which includes human rights advocates and defenders.

Unanimously approved at the Plenary Session
International Conference on Solidarity, Defense and Struggle for Freedom of Political Prisoners in the World
23 October 2010 Copenhagen, Denmark

 

           
           
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New Zealand

Philippines Solidarity Network of Aotearoa (PSNA).Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines

     

 

Press Release 6 November 2010
Reference: Tim Howard 027 3089 216 <the-farm@ihug.co.nz>

New Zealanders Lit Candles for Freedom, Justice and Peace in the Philippines
NDFP: No Short Cut to Peace Pact with Aquino Gov’t

Whangarei, New Zealand - In solidarity with the 6th November protest actions marking 9th month of illegal arrest and detention of Filipino health workers known as 'Morong 43,' peace and human rights advocates
in New Zealand lighted candles and signed Free Morong 43 international petition during a public meeting to support the quest for justice and lasting peace in the Philippines.

MR. LUIS JALANDONI and MS CONI LEDESMA, representatives of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Peace Negotiating Panel, spoke at the public meeting in Whangarei organised by
Philippines Solidarity Network of Aotearoa (PSNA). They presented the 12-point NDFP program, stressing, "Peace will be the fruit of social justice, when the small landed elite and foreign multinationals will no longer monopolize land ownership in the country. Land reform is a principal issue that must be addressed to pave the way for just and lasting peace in the Philippines."

While Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda stated that Aquino’s preference was for the NDFP leaders to visit Malacanang with a signed peace agreement, Jalandoni declared, “There's no short cut to a peace
agreement, solving fundamental problems of landlessness and joblessness of the vast majority is crucial to resolving the decades-old conflict. Pres. Aquino promised change but he has yet to resolve the long disputed Cojuangco-Aquino owned Hacienda Luisita covering 6,453-hectares of land that could benefit thousands of poor families if redistributed justly.”

"We lit candles with the hope that Philippine President Benigno Aquino III will end the darkness of injustice suffered by the 43 community health workers and all political prisoners unjustly detained in the
Philippines," Tim Howard, PSNA local organiser of the Whangerei peace forum stated.

Noting that it has been nearly 6 years since the 2004 Hacienda Luisita massacre, Howard says, "At this time we also remember and demand justice for the 7 Hacienda Luisita massacre victims, union president
Ricardo Ramos, clerics Bishop Alberto Ramento, Fr. William Tadena and all who have been brutally murdered in this decades-old land dispute." Howard, one of the 5 New Zealanders who joined the August 2005 International Solidarity Mission to probe human rights abuses under the Arroyo presidency, expressed disappointment that the Cojuangco-Aquino family maintains the Stock Distribution Option (SDO) scheme instead of the outright distribution of the vast sugar plantation to the 10,000 farm workers.

According to Jalandoni, "The continuing detention of Morong 43 and the killings related to the Hacienda Luisita dispute highlight the importance of pursuing peace talks that address the problem of landlessness and persistent human rights violations such as illegal arrest, torture, enforced disappearances and extra-judicial killings committed by state forces against Filipinos who aspire for socio-economic reforms but are unjustly labeled as 'enemies of the state' and 'terrorists.'”

“With the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) formally signed by both principals of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the NDFP in 1998, Filipinos can file complaints on abuses and demand justice based on this agreement and other existing human rights instruments," Jalandoni noted.

While in Whangarei, Jalandoni and Ledesma were interviewed in a major Radio NZ (national public radio) programme, 3 Maori regional radio programmes, and a local community TV station's news (in Maori and
English) - to get the word out to large numbers of Maori and other New Zealanders about land issues and other matters that Filipinos and Maori have in common. #

 

     
     
           

x

Editorial
‘Free the 43’

 

Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 04:16:00 11/09/2010
http://opinion.inquirer.net/inquireropinion/editorial/view/20101109-302219/Free-the-43


President Benigno Aquino III is concerned over the detention for the past 15 years of Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma, a democracy icon like his late mother, former President Corazon C. Aquino. Last Oct. 28, while attending the Asean Summit in Hanoi, he urged Burma’s Prime Minister Thein Sein to free Suu Kyi, but predictably, the latter made no clear commitment.

 

But while Mr. Aquino seems to be passionate in working for the release of Suu Kyi, he does not seem to be very concerned about the detention for the past nine months by government forces of 43 health workers, the so-called “Morong 43.” Last Oct. 14 Mr. Aquino said the case of the 43 detainees would have to be decided by the court that is trying them for illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

 

The President has ordered a review of the circumstances surrounding the arrest of the health workers. The confiscation of guns and explosives from the Morong resort where they were staying showed that the evidence had been obtained through irregular means. He said that “it is a generally accepted principle that that what the lawyers call the fruit of the poisoned tree, [or] evidence wrongly gotten cannot be used.”

 

The Morong 43, their families and supporters have said that they were attending a training seminar on how to provide health services to poor communities when arrested. Their families said the detained workers were subjected to “psychological torture” by the military.

 

From all indications, the arrest of the 43 was highly irregular and unjust. The President himself said a review of the case showed that the soldiers who raided the resthouse had an arrest warrant for only one person who was not even at the resort at the time. So why did the soldiers resort to a “shotgun approach” to the case, if we may call it such? Why arrest and detain 43 people when they were after only one wanted person? Firearms and explosives were supposedly found at the seminar site. But we all know that “planting evidence” has been the usual practice of the military and the police since the Marcos martial law days. The President said that “the explosives were not part of the warrant” (but probably part of the arresting officers’ afterthought).

 

This serious case of injustice is taking place not in a foreign country like Burma but right here in our backyard, just 25 kilometers away from Metro Manila. It has been denounced by various militant and human rights groups. Renato Reyes, secretary general of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), said the arrest of the 43 in the absence of a search warrant was “an acknowledgment of the long-recognized injustice against the 43 health workers.”

 

Dr. Genee Rivera, secretary general of the Health Alliance for Democracy, said that if the Magdalo Group headed by former Navy Lt., now Sen. Antonio Trillanes could be given amnesty, the Morong 43 should also be freed. There have been many incidents aggravating the plight of the Morong 43. For instance, two of the pregnant women gave birth in detention. The arresting officers did not even have the common humanity to allow them to give birth in a well-equipped hospital.

 

International organizations, like Human Rights Watch, Ecumenical Voice for Peace and Human Rights, and International Association of People’s Lawyers, have criticized the seeming tepid reaction of the Aquino administration to the Morong 43’s allegations of torture and gross disregard of their human rights. Contrast the foot-dragging of Mr. Aquino on the case of the Morong 43 and his speedy action on the Magdalo soldiers involved in the Oakwood mutiny. His rhetoric is good, but it is not backed by concrete action in the case of the Morong 43.

 

President Aquino should be troubled by the case of the Morong 43 because his late father, former Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr., was the No. 1 human rights victim of the Marcos dictatorship. And he should be very concerned not only about the Morong 43 but also the 367 political prisoners who remain in detention although the dictator Marcos and the coddler of human rights violators, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, have faded away from the scene.

 

Several days ago, the families and supporters of the Morong 43 held a protest demonstration and shouted, “Free the 43!” Yes, it’s not just Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma who should be freed. Let’s start in our own backyard. “Free the 43!”

 

 

Editorial
Free


Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 23:03:00 10/16/2010

http://opinion.inquirer.net/inquireropinion/editorial/view/20101016-298121/Free


MANILA, Philippines—President Benigno Aquino’s sweeping grant of amnesty to the more than 300 soldiers charged with mounting several attempts to take over government from 2003 to 2007 should be hailed. After all, those soldiers, among them an elected senator in Antonio Trillanes IV, a retired brigadier general in Danilo Lim, and a retired colonel in Ariel Querubin, have been in detention ever since those three uprisings: the Oakwood Mutiny in 2003, the Marine standoff in 2006 and the Manila Peninsula siege of 2007, all of which were aimed at toppling the administration of then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, whose legitimacy was under a heavy cloud of doubt.

 

It is clear that President Aquino’s Proclamation No. 50, once it is approved by the Senate and Congress, aims to bridge the gap of mistrust between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the civilian government, a gap that became patently obvious during the military mutinies during the Arroyo years. That so many bemedalled military men took part in disparate attempts to oust then President Arroyo is proof positive of the military’s unhappiness with her administration, despite her seeding one government agency after another with retired generals. These disgruntled officers and enlisted men were neither rogues nor ne’er-do-wells. On the contrary, they were some of the AFP’s best and brightest.

 

But while we welcome this amnesty grant to our military men, President Aquino’s bold move has also cast an unblinking light on the curious case of the Morong 43, all of whom remain in captivity, despite various calls for their release.

 

The so-called Morong 43 are the health workers arrested earlier this year in Morong, Rizal by the military allegedly for being leaders of the communist New People’s Army. Non-government organizations claim that the 43 were merely participating in a training-seminar on health care and service, and not on bomb-making as the military insists.

 

The bizarre thing about the Morong 43—among whose number included two pregnant women—is all the wrong moves that have happened since then. The 43 detainees were kept at Camp Capinpin in Tanay and virtually denied access to everything—from legal counsel to their own families. Attempts at securing a writ of habeas corpus and the Supreme Court’s intervention have failed to free the Morong 43, including 26-year-old Judilyn Oliveros who was nevertheless placed under hospital arrest after giving birth.

 

It is fairly obvious that the Morong 43 qualify as political prisoners. And they were as much kept arbitrarily away from their loved ones and under constant watch, lending credence to public suspicions and allegations that they had been tortured.

 

Discussions on the detained soldiers and the captive health workers have become inextricably merged. The crisp, transparent way the various mutineers’ cases have gone on stands in clear contrast to the nebulous, shady manner in which the Morong 43’s cases have been handled. While Trillanes and company have received considerable media coverage, the Morong 43 are as much as possible hidden away from the eyes of the public, almost as if the government is afraid of them, bundling them away through paperwork and furtiveness.

 

That President Aquino is nothing like his predecessor is clear with the pleasantly surprising move to grant the captive soldiers amnesty. However, now more than ever, the urgency of freeing the Morong 43 becomes all the more evident. But even as the obviously detained rebellious soldiers are about to emerge from restriction and return to their abbreviated lives, there is not the least sign that the Morong 43 health workers will soon see the light of day and, finally, be set free.

 

But this is as clear: A sane, fair government cannot with one hand free over 300 of those who would destroy it and, with another hand, continue to shackle and hide over 40 of those who would heal its people. It is time for the Aquino administration to prove that point. The time has come to free the Morong 43.

           
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Migrante chapter in Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia
     
     
     
           

 

News Release
November 5, 2010

Internationally coordinated actions to mark 9th month in detention of Morong 43

The umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan today announced the holding of internationally coordinated actions to mark the 9th month in detention of the Morong 43 and to press for their immediate release.

Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes, Jr. said that the actions will be held in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco in the United States, Ottawa and Vancouver, Canada, Japan, Saudi Arabia, New Zealand, Denmark and the Netherlands. In the Philippines, the supporters o f the 43 health workers will hold a caravan to Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan.

“On the ninth month of their detention, various organizations and peoples of the world are calling on the Aquino administration to withdraw the cases against the Morong 43 and see to their immediate release. Nine-months of an unjust detention is nine months too long,” Reyes said.

“Another day in detention is another day justice is denied,” the Bayan leader said.

The 43 health workers have gained widespread international support from various human rights groups, lawyers groups and peoples organizations. Their cases have been brought to the attention of the United Nations and other international bodies.

In the 9 months of their detention, two detainees have already given birth this year. Both women are now under hospital detention at the Philippine General Hospital.

In the Philippines, the local supporters of the 43 will hold a simple religious service and lunch with the detainees at the BJMP facility in Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan. The detainees have been staying there since May 1 after the Morong Court ordered their transfer from the military’s Camp Capinpin where they were initially detained.

The Department of Justice has submitted a confidential memorandum to President Benigno Aquino III on the case of the Morong 43. Aquino has publicly admitted that the arrests and searches may have been illegal and are considered “fruits of the poisonous tree”.

“The president has a moral obligation to see to it that justice is not further denied the 43 health workers. It is our hope that the detainees are released before Christmas so that they can be reunited with their families,” Reyes said.

Bayan said that the Aquino government can do two things to cause the release of the 43 health workers.

“The Aquino government through the Office of the Solicitor General, can concur with the appeal before the Supreme Court filed by the lawyers of the 43 on the question of the legality of the arrests of the health workers. The OSG can concur with the Morong 43 on their petition for habeas corpus which was dismissed by the Court of Appeals after a very close vote,” Reyes said.

“The Aquino government, through the Department of Justice, can also withdraw the cases against the 43 pending before the Morong RTC and MTC. This can also cause the release of the detained health workers,” Reyes added.

 

Indoor action and press-conference by  Migrante chapter in Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia

           
     
     
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]Asia-Wide Campaign - Japan

at the Philippine embassy and consulate

     
     

 

 

Asia-Wide Campaign against U.S.-Japanese domination and
aggression of Asia
(Asia-Wide Campaign -Japan)

********
 

H.E. Benigno C. Aquino III

President, Republic of the Philippines

Malacañang Palace

J.P. Laurel St., San Miguel

Manila, Philippines

November 6, 2010

 

Immediate and Unconditional Release of the 43 Health Workers!

 

Dear President,

 

We, Asia-Wide Campaign-Japan, urge you to withdraw the charges against 43 detained health workers known as the 'Morong 43' and see to their immediate and unconditional release.

 

The 43 health workers, -two doctors, a nurse, two midwives and 38 community health workers- were undergoing a health skill training when they were arrested by the military through the use of a defective search warrant. They were falsely accused of undergoing a “bomb-making” training and were held incommunicado for several days, tortured and deprived of their right to counsel.

 

Nine months have already passed since their illegal arrest in Morong, Rizal on last Feburary 6, 2010. But the 43 health workers still languish in prisons under inhuman conditions, continuously harassed by the military and police. The illegal arrest, illegal detention, and torture committed against them are gross violations of their human rights.

 

One of the detainee, Carina Oliveros, gave birth to a baby boy in July 22. Another woman detainee, Mercy Castro, gave birth to a baby girl in October 18. They are nursing their babies in detention, with several policemen guarding them at the Phil.General Hospital.This cruelty to both mothers and babies should end immediately.

 

The Department of Justice has submitted its recommendations regarding the case of the 43 health workers. The President has also commented on the defect of the search warrant and that evidence against the Morong 43 are the 'fruit of the poisonous tree.'

 

We therefore urge you as President of the Philippines to take action for immediate and unconditional release of the 43 health workers!

 

Respectfully yours,

 

Asia-Wide Campaign against U.S.-Japanese domination and aggression of Asia

(Asia-Wide Campaign -Japan)

#3F, Pearl Daiichi Bldg., 99-14 Nishiura, Hirono-cho, Uji-City, Kyoto, Japan

 

 

On November 6, the day of international day of coordinated action for immediate and unconditional release of the Morong 43, members of AWC-NCR appealed to condemn illegal arrest and detention against the Morong 43 and to demand release them immediately in Kamata, Tokyo. They also sent letter of protest to Philippine embassy and Consulate in Japan.

At the same days, AWC-Kyoto, with other organization, held the protest against APEC financial ministerial meeting in Kyoto on Nov. 6. During the demonstration, AWC members also appealed release the Morong 43 unconditionally and immediately.

 

     
           
           
     
     
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Los Angeles - USA

Picket rally by BAYAN - USA

     
           
     
     
     

 

Press Statement

 

Contact: Daya Mortel
sc@bayanusa.org
310-734-8119
 

November 6, 2010

 

We Demand the Unconditional and Immediate Release of the 43 Health Workers
 
Los Angeles – As a part of internationally coordinated actions to Free the Morong 43 in the Philippines, BAYAN USA - Southwest held a picket in front of the Los Angeles Philippine Consulate to demand the immediate and unconditional release of the 43 Filipino community health workers who have been illegally detained since nine months ago.

On February 06, 2010, over 300 soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) forcibly entered a farmhouse where various community health workers were having training and workshops. In that raid, the elements of the AFP illegally arrested, searched, tortured and detained 43 community health workers including 26 women – two of whom have already given birth while in prison, one in July and one this October. To justify the arrest, the Philippine armed forces used defective warrant and planted evidence to charge the 43 of illegal possession of firearms and explosives.  Their constitutional rights have been grossly violated.
 
The present Philippine President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III himself has remarked on the defect of the search warrant and said that the evidence wrongly gotten cannot be used, and therefore the cases cannot prosper because they are “fruit of the poisoned tree.” Aquino's declarations on the 43 health workers came when he granted amnesty to detained 300 rebel soldiers accused of toppling the past Arroyo regime. Many are puzzled why the detained health workers have not been released even as there is really no case against them. The Philippine Department of Justice (DOJ) has already submitted its review and recommendations regarding the case to Aquino indicating that the recommendations should lead to the release of the detainees.
 
“The 43 health workers have been denied justice for far too long,” stated Daya Mortel, Bayan USA regional coordinator in Southern California.  Mortel continued, “President Aquino has admitted that the search warrant was defective, and we already know there was no basis for their arrest.  These detentions are illegal, and Aquino must be held accountable every single additional day that the 43 are held in the military camps. Nine months of deprivation of their human rights, outright torture, and 2 newborn babies born under detention is a travesty. The 43 health workers must be released immediately.”

 

Diverse local and international organizations have already been demanding the release of the Morong 43. We should double our efforts to press the Aquino government to respect the rights the health workers by withdrawing the charges against them and releasing them immediately. 
 
We enjoin all freedom and justice-loving people of the United States to pressure our government to stop all US aid to the Philippines and demand the Philippine government to respect the human rights of the Filipino people.  The US aid to the Philippines comes from our tax dollars and it should be used for the betterment of the lives of the broad Filipino toiling masses.     

 

Representatives from people’s organizations and alliances such as BAYAN-USA, AnakBayan Los Angeles, Habi Arts, SiGAw! (Sisters of GABRIELA, Awaken!), Filipino American Health Workers Association, Filipino Migrant Center, National Alliance for Filipino Concerns, International League of Peoples’ Struggle, various church groups and other concerned community members joined the picket to express their opposition to the continued detention of the 43 health workers.

 

We demand the unconditional and immediate release of the Morong 43!
 
Free the Morong 43, now!  Free all political prisoners!

 

     
           
     
     
     
 

 

Today officially marks the Morong 43's ninth month in detention. It is also an international day of awareness and action urging President Aquino to issue an executive order to free the 43 +2 from their continued detention in Camp Bagong Diwa in Metro-Manila, and act that would be reminiscent of his mother's executive decision to release all political prisoners in 1987, shortly after the fall of the Marcos dictatorship through the famous People Power Uprising.


Insincere Rhetoric


PNoy aimed to paint a picture of compassion and respect for human rights when he made news calling for the release of Burmese opposition leader and political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi last month at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit. But such rhetoric appears empty when looking at the situation of political prisoners in his own country and only highlights his administration's insincerity in pursuing a genuine agenda of respect and recognition for human rights that would set Aquino apart from past administrations.

 


In addition to the Morong 43+2, there remains over 388 political prisoners languishing in jails all over the country, while over a dozen civilian activists have already been murdered within the so-called "honeymoon" period of the Aquino administration this year.

Despite strong recommendations submitted to Malacanang and confirmation of physical and psychological torture being inflicted on the 43 by Department of Justice Secretary Leila De Lima, PNoy's deafening silence on the subject ignores the growing clamor in the Philippines and all over the world for the release of the Morong 43.

Continuing Failed and Scrutinized Counter-Insurgency of Arroyo


In addition to calling for the immediate and unconditional release of the Morong 43+2, BAYAN USA, an alliance of 14 Filipino organizations across the United States, joins this international day of action to free the 43 by calling for PNoy to scrap the US-funded counter-insurgency program known as Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL).

A president cannot be a human rights advocate and a red-baiter at the same time. PNoy's decision to continue Arroyo's McCarthyist campaign for blood against the above-ground, legal, unarmed Left in the Philippines is no proper foundation for a democracy, nor for a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Instead, he packs his so-called Truth Commission and the once-respectable Commission on Human Rights (CHR) with fellow red-baiters who continue to enforce the idea that one can and should be persecuted by the state for their political beliefs, even if they have committed no crime.

Perhaps when it comes to human rights, PNoy bears more resemblance to his parents' arch-nemesis than to the ideals of democracy and freedom his famous parents spoke of and wanted for their country.


FREE THE 43!
FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS!

SCRAP OPLAN BANTAY-LAYA!
 

     

 

 

News Statement

November 6, 2010

Reference: Bernadette Ellorin, Chairperson, BAYAN USA, email: chair@bayanusa.org

Continued Detention of 43 Health Workers + 2 Newborn Babies the Height of Indecency of Aquino Administration


Filipino-American Alliance Joins the International Day of Action to Free the Morong 43 + 2

 

While Philippine President Benigno "PNoy" Aquino III grants amnesty and coddles with mutinous rebel soldiers responsible for staging a coup against the government of his predecessor, he sets a new standard for hypocrisy and indecency with his refusal to release the 43 health workers-- collectively known as the Morong 43-- and two of their newborn babies born in detention.

PNoy has already gone on public record declaring the warrant used by the Philippine National Police to raid and arrest the 43 rural health workers who were conducting a medical training seminar in the farm compound of Dr. Melicia Velmonte last February 6th in Morong, Rizal was defective and false. As it stands, there is no legally justifiable reason for the continued incarceration of the 43 health workers.►►►


 

 
==          

New York City - USA

Picket rally by BAYAN - USA

     
           
     
     
     

 

News Statement
November 6, 2010
Reference: Bernadette Ellorin, Chairperson, BAYAN USA, email: chair@bayanusa.org

Continued Detention of 43 Health Workers (+ 2 Newborn Babies) the Height of Indecency of Aquino Administration

Filipino-American Alliance Joins the International Day of Action to Free the Morong 43 + 2

While Philippine President Benigno “PNoy” Aquino III grants amnesty and coddles with mutinous rebel soldiers responsible for staging a coup against the government of his predecessor, he sets a new standard for hypocrisy and indecency with his refusal to release the 43 health workers– collectively known as the Morong 43– and two of their newborn babies born in detention.

PNoy has already gone on public record declaring the warrant used by the Philippine National Police to raid and arrest the 43 rural health workers who were conducting a medical training seminar in the farm compound of Dr. Melicia Velmonte last February 6th in Morong, Rizal was defective and false. As it stands, there is no legally justifiable reason for the continued incarceration of the 43 health workers.

Today officially marks the Morong 43’s ninth month in detention. It is also an international day of awareness and action urging President Aquino to issue an executive order to free the 43 +2 from their continued detention in Camp Bagong Diwa in Metro-Manila, and act that would be reminiscent of his mother’s executive decision to release all political prisoners in 1987, shortly after the fall of the Marcos dictatorship through the famous People Power Uprising.

Insincere Rhetoric

PNoy aimed to paint a picture of compassion and respect for human rights when he made news calling for the release of Burmese opposition leader and political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi last month at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit. But such rhetoric appears empty when looking at the situation of political prisoners in his own country and only highlights his administration’s insincerity in pursuing a genuine agenda of respect and recognition for human rights that would set Aquino apart from past administrations.

In addition to the Morong 43+2, there remains over 388 political prisoners languishing in jails all over the country, while over a dozen civilian activists have already been murdered within the so-called “honeymoon” period of the Aquino administration this year.

Despite strong recommendations submitted to Malacanang and confirmation of physical and psychological torture being inflicted on the 43 by Department of Justice Secretary Leila De Lima, PNoy’s deafening silence on the subject ignores the growing clamor in the Philippines and all over the world for the release of the Morong 43.

Continuing Failed and Scrutinized Counter-Insurgency of Arroyo

In addition to calling for the immediate and unconditional release of the Morong 43+2, BAYAN USA, an alliance of 14 Filipino organizations across the United States, joins this international day of action to free the 43 by calling for PNoy to scrap the US-funded counter-insurgency program known as Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL).

A president cannot be a human rights advocate and a red-baiter at the same time. PNoy’s decision to continue Arroyo’s McCarthyist campaign for blood against the above-ground, legal, unarmed Left in the Philippines is no proper foundation for a democracy, nor for a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Instead, his packs his so-called Truth Commission and the once-respectable Commission on Human Rights (CHR) with fellow red-baiters who continue to enforce the idea that one can and should be persecuted by the state for their political beliefs, even if they have committed no crime.

Perhaps when it comes to human rights, PNoy bears more resemblance to his parents’ arch-nemesis than to the the ideals of democracy and freedom his famous parents spoke of and wanted for their country.

FREE THE 43!
FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS!
SCRAP OPLAN BANTAY-LAYA!

 

     
           
     
     
     
==          

CANADA

Picket rally by BAYAN - CANADA

           

 

BAYAN Canada

Press Statement
November 5, 2010
Reference:

Joey Calugay, 514-947-3662 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 514-947-3662 end_of_the_skype_highlighting, jcalugay2@yahoo.ca

Yasmeen Khan, 613-558-1625 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 613-558-1625 end_of_the_skype_highlighting, yazmaryam@hotmail.com

END THE INJUSTICE! FREE THE MORONG 43 NOW!

The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan in Canada [BAYAN Canada] today joins Bayan in the Philippines, people’s organizations and advocates of the Morong 43 in different corners of the globe in calling on President Benigno Aquino III to order the immediate and unconditional release of these health workers who are now in their ninth month of detention. The 43 - that include two doctors, two midwives and a nurse - were arrested on February 6, 2010, on the basis of a defective search warrant issued and on evidence planted by state forces. They were charged with illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

Early on in those nine months, some of them were subjected to grueling physical and psychological torture, and various forms of indignity. They were denied legal counsel and family visits in Camp Capinpin, a military prison camp in Tanay, Rizal.

Today, women detainees Judilyn Oliveros and Mercy Castro have already given birth while in detention. Both are under hospital arrest at the Philippine General Hospital. Both mothers have fought for their right to breastfeed their babies. The other health workers are still detained at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig.

There is no reason why Aquino cannot direct the justice department to file a motion withdrawing the criminal charges against the 43 before the Morong Regional Trial Court and the Metropolitan Trial Court. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima has indicated that her recommendations to President Aquino should lead to the release of the detainees. The President himself has admitted that the search warrant was defective. The courts would then have no choice but to release the 43. And with this simple act, Aquino would have been able to end the injustice done to these community health workers.

Furthermore, the Aquino government granted amnesty to 300 rebel soldiers detained by the Arroyo regime for staging three coup attempts, even before a Makati Trial Court could even decide on the case of one of the rebel officers. Why then can it not order the release of the innocent 43 health workers who want nothing more than bring medical services to the poor?

The Aquino government has always been saying they want to rectify the injustices committed by the Arroyo regime. It is time to right these wrongs. And President Aquino can start by freeing the Morong 43, releasing all political prisoners and addressing all cases of human rights violations committed by state forces.

Free the Morong 43!
Release all political prisoners!
Justice to all victims of state repression!

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


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Nov. 5, 2010
MEDIA ADVISORY

Canada-based groups join international call for release of jailed community health workers in the Philippines

OTTAWA - A multi-sectoral alliance of Filipino organizations in Canada and a network of Canada-Philippine solidarity groups will be holding a rally in front of the Philippine embassy to pressure President Benigno Aquino III to release the 43 health workers being illegally detained by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). The rally - organized by the Ontario Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (OCHRP) and Bayan-Canada - will be one of hundreds that will be held across the globe, including in the Philippines.

On February 6, 2010, about 300 AFP soldiers and Philippine National Police (PNP) raided the farmhouse of Dr. Melecia Velmonte, professor emeritus of the College of Medicine of the University of the Philippines. The AFP and the PNP arrested 43 health workers on charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives. The state forces used a defective warrant and planted evidence to justify the arrests. The health workers were subjected to physical and psychological torture, denied counsel and visits, and subjected to various indignities inside a military camp. They have since been known as the “Morong 43”.

The Philippine Department of Justice (DOJ) submitted its review and recommendations to the Philippine president on Oct. 6, 2010. DOJ secretary Leila de Lima has indicated that her recommendations should lead to the release of the detainees. Pres. Aquino himself has admitted the search warrant used in the arrest of the community health workers was defective. However, he said that the release of the health workers will have to be sanctioned by the courts.    ►►►►

 

 

 

 

     

 

Download:

Joint statement of the Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights, Migrante BC and

The Victoria Philippines Solidarity Group

 
     
     

Advocates of the political prisoners have suggested to Pres. Aquino to direct the DOJ to file a motion withdrawing the criminal charges against the Morong 43, which would force the courts to release them. Advocates say this would only be fair given that the president has already granted amnesty to about 300 rebel soldiers who were detained by the former Arroyo regime. Many have also asked why the detained health workers have not been released given that there is really no case against them and that their constitutional rights were violated.

The Ottawa rally is meant to coincide with the planned November 6 (Manila time) rally of various organizations in the Philippines that will converge at the military camp where the health workers are being detained.

What: Protest rally organized by OCHRP and Bayan-Canada
When : Friday, Nov. 5, 2010, at 4 p.m.
Where : Philippine Embassy
130 Albert St., Ottawa, ON
- 30 -
 

For information: Yasmeen Khan, Bayan-Ottawa spokesperson,
Cell: (613) 558-1625 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (613) 558-1625

           
     

 

BAYAN Canada
Press Statement
November 5, 2010

Reference:
Joey Calugay, 514-947-3662, jcalugay2@yahoo.ca
Yasmeen Khan, 613-558-1625, yazmaryam@hotmail.com

END THE INJUSTICE! FREE THE MORONG 43 NOW!

The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan in Canada [BAYAN Canada] today joins Bayan in the Philippines, people’s organizations and advocates of the Morong 43 in different corners of the globe in calling on President Benigno Aquino III to order the immediate and unconditional release of these health workers who are now in their ninth month of detention. The 43 - that include two doctors, two midwives and a nurse - were arrested on February 6, 2010, on the basis of a defective search warrant issued and on evidence planted by state forces. They were charged with illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

Early on in those nine months, some of them were subjected to grueling physical and psychological torture, and various forms of indignity. They were denied legal counsel and family visits in Camp Capinpin, a military prison camp in Tanay, Rizal.

Today, women detainees Judilyn Oliveros and Mercy Castro have already given birth while in detention. Both are under hospital arrest at the Philippine General Hospital. Both mothers have fought for their right to breastfeed their babies. The other health workers are still detained at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig.

There is no reason why Aquino cannot direct the justice department to file a motion withdrawing the criminal charges against the 43 before the Morong Regional Trial Court and the Metropolitan Trial Court. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima has indicated that her recommendations to President Aquino should lead to the release of the detainees. The President himself has admitted that the search warrant was defective. The courts would then have no choice but to release the 43. And with this simple act, Aquino would have been able to end the injustice done to these community health workers.

Furthermore, the Aquino government granted amnesty to 300 rebel soldiers detained by the Arroyo regime for staging three coup attempts, even before a Makati Trial Court could even decide on the case of one of the rebel officers. Why then can it not order the release of the innocent 43 health workers who want nothing more than bring medical services to the poor?

The Aquino government has always been saying they want to rectify the injustices committed by the Arroyo regime. It is time to right these wrongs. And President Aquino can start by freeing the Morong 43, releasing all political prisoners and addressing all cases of human rights violations committed by state forces.

Free the Morong 43!
Release all political prisoners!
Justice to all victims of state repression!

 

 

Bayan Canada and supporters of the 43 illegally detained health workers held a rally in front of the Philippine Embassy on November 5, in Canada’s capital, as part of the international day of action. Representatives from the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW), Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), Ontario Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (OCHRP), and the Centre d'appui aux Philippines - Centre for Philippine Concerns (CAP-CPC) were also present to join in the world-wide demand for the immediate release for the Morong 43. Building security and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP – or Canada’s federal police force) tried to prevent the rally from happening directly in front of the embassy building but the demonstrators insisted on their right to hold the peaceful protest in front of the building. A delegation was also prevented by the RCMP and building security from going up to the offices of the Philippine Embassy to submit a petition signed by 145 health professionals so the groups insisted that embassy officials come out to meet the demonstrators. Finally the embassy’s Public Relations Officer came down and the petition was submitted.

 

           
     
Preparing  for rally Representatatives from Canadian unions Free the 43 banne
     

 

8 November 2010

H.E. Benigno C. Aquino III
President of the Republic of the Philippines
Malacañang Palace,
JP Laurel St., San Miguel
Manila, Philippines

Cc: Atty. Leila De Lima
Secretary, Department of Justice
Padre Faura St., Manila

Dear Mr. President,

We, the Free the 43 Committee (B.C. Canada), are concerned about the continued detention of the detained 43 health workers who were arrested nine months ago, on February 6, 2010. We are especially worried about the situation of the two nursing mothers, Carina Oliveros and Mercy Castro, and their babies who were born in detention.

As President and as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, you have commented that the search warrant used by the arresting military officers and soldiers was defective. The tainted evidence as a result of this defective search warrant and the questionable search process that happened, on which basis the 43 health workers have been charged with illegal possession of firearms and explosives surely cannot be used in any court of law. Likewise, the forced confessions obtained by the military from the detainees by the use of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and other violations of their constitutional, civil and political rights surely cannot be used in any court of law.

We urge your Excellency to take the decisive step and order the Department of Justice, who has already made recommendations on the case of the “Morong 43,” to file a motion before the courts to withdraw these charges. We also ask that the military officers and soldiers responsible for the torture and other violations of human rights of the detainees be held accountable for what they did and are duly punished.

We are aware of your order for the immediate release of some 300 soldiers and officers involved in military uprisings against your predecessor. Can we expect the same decisiveness and the same compassion for the detained health workers, most especially the nursing mothers and their new babies?

We ask that the charges against the “Morong 43” be withdrawn. We ask that the “Morong 43” be immediately and unconditionally released.

We will be monitoring the developments in the case of the detained health workers.


Respectfully yours,

Yvon Raoul and Valerie Raoul
On behalf of the Free the 43 Committee (B.C. Canada)
1230 East 13th Avenue, Vancouver, BC Canada
Tel: 604.224.3723
 

Doug of OCHRP

Downtown Ottawa

           
     
Police prevent group from entering building Petition signed by 145 health professionals Embassy rep accepts petitio
     

 

The Free the 43 Committee Visits the Philippine Consulate General in Vancouver

Vancouver. -- The Free the 43 Committee (B.C.
Canada) personally delivered its letter of concern to the Philippine Consulate General in Vancouver early this afternoon, November 8, 2010. The Free the 43 Committee was represented by Yvon and Valerie Raoul, both members of the 2010 International Observers Mission to the Philippines, Atty. Gail Davidson, Founder and Executive Director of Lawyers Rights Watch Canada, Aiyanas Ormond of the Alliance for People's Health and Erie Maestro of the Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights. Vice-Consul Melanie Balisi Diano invited the group to her office, received the letters from the Committee and from Lawyers Rights Watch Canada and promised that the letters would be forwarded to President Aquino.

Aiyanas Ormond said that he and his family personally know Dr. Merry Clamor and Reynaldo Macabenta when they stayed in the Philippines in 2005 and know of the good community and medical service that they do. Valerie and Yvon Raoul shared that they visited the detainees when they went to the Philippines as independent observers of the 2010 National Elections. Atty. Gail Davidson who attended the Conference of Lawyers in the Asia Pacific in September went with other lawyers to visit the Morong 43 and met and talked with the detained health workers.  All have been closely monitoring the developments (or lack of progress) in the case of the Morong 43. Lawyers Rights Watch Canada is still waiting for a response from the Philippine Government for the two letters that it had sent out.[ http://www.lrwc.org/letters2.php?aid=335]

"We want the Philippine government to know that the detained health workers have friends in Vancouver who are concerned about their situation and who are committed to helping secure their release," said Yvon Raoul, a retired school teacher and a human rights advocate.

The group specifically made mention of the two nursing mothers, Carina Oliveros and Mercy Castro, and their two new babies who were both born in detention-- and are still waiting for their release.

The Free the 43 Committee's letter comes in the wake of the recent Presidential order of release for some 300 soldiers and officers who were involved in uprisings against the former President Gloria Arroyo.

Vice Consul Deano promised to get back to the group on any feedback on their letter. The group responded in turn that they are willing to meet again with the Consulate General's office to discuss the case of the detained health workers. -30-

 

(L-R: Erie Maestro, Aiyanas Ormond, Atty. Gail Davidson, Valerie Raoul and Yvon Raoul at the main lobby of the 700 Pender Place where the Consulate General has its office.)

           
     

x

FREE THE MORONG 43 NOW!

(Solidarity Message of MIGRANTE Europe)
6 November 2010

 

Filipinos in Europe join their compatriots and solidarity friends in the Philippines, in the Asia-Pacific, Middle East, United States and Canada, in an internationally-coordinated mobilizations to demand the loudest call for freedom for the unjustly detained Filipino health workers, popularly known as the 'Morong 43'.

 

The Morong 43 have already unjustly suffered nine months of detention based on politically-motivated charges and fabricated evidence that would not prosper in a reasonable court of law. Their arrests were done in violation of due process, and those who brought them to their detention have used them only for political grandstanding.

 

The injustice heaped on them must be brought before the doorstep of former

 President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. With a string of grave human rights violations under its rule that could be considered war crimes and eligible for international prosecution, the Arroyo government committed its last publicly condemned act on the Morong 43 before it was banished during the last national elections. 

 

With the new Aquino government and its promise to overturn the excesses of the much-hated Arroyo government, the Morong 43 should be immediately freed. Their freedom would show that the Aquino government is serious in righting the wrongs of the Arroyo regime. The freedom of the Morong 43 would signal that there is after all an attempt by the Aquino government to contrast itself with its predecessor.

 

As we launch our solidarity actions today, November 6, we shout our loudest calls:

 

Free the Morong 43!
Free all political prisoners!
Stop human rights violations in the Philippines!

 

MIGRANTE Europe
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Postbus 15687, 1001 ND Amsterdam

 

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

 

Letter of the World Student Christian Federation to Pres. Benigno Aquino III on the continuing incarceration of the 43 health workers, collectively known as the Morong 43.

November 5, 2010

HE Benigno Simeon C Aquino III
President, Republic of the Philippines
Malacanang Palace
JP Laurel Street, San Miguel
Manila
Philippines

RE: Continued incarceration of 43 Health Workers
 

Dear President Aquino,
 

Greetings!
 

We write to you on behalf of the World Student Christian Federation (WSCF) regarding the continuing detention of the 43 health workers in the Philippines.
 

The WSCF, an umbrella of around 110 national student Christian movements around the world and an NGO with a consultative status at the United Nations, expressed our strong condemnation of the illegal arrest, detention and torture of the 43 health workers in February 6, 2010 during the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in our public statement issued shortly after the arrest, demanding their freedom.

We are aware that this arrest was illegal; it was conducted without warrant by the 202nd Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army and the Rizal Philippine National Police after an illegal search of the group when it was holding a health training in Morong, Rizal province.

We are particularly concerned about the arrest of several pregnant women among the 43 arrested, who have now given birth, and we have called for them to be released immediately. We also draw attention to the fact that Dr. Alex Montes of the Community Medicine Development Foundation and a member of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines was one of the arrested 43. Dr. Montes works tirelessly as a medical doctor who serves in community health service to Filipino marginalized communities.

 

WSCF continues to follow the case and at the WSCF Executive Committee from October 28-November 6, 2010 we have heard of the continuing detention of the health workers, which is unjustly causing them and their families’ suffering. We are disappointed to know that recommendations for their freedom coming from no less than former Commission on Human Rights Chairperson and now Department of Justice Secretary Leila De Lima, who has herself led a fact-finding, are continuously ignored by your administration.

 


We now call on HE President Aquino, as the new commander in chief, to release the health workers and to take serious measures in calling the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police and all other government security forces and apparatus to end all forms of abuse, harassment, intimidation and violence against groups and individuals who are critical of the government. We also call on your new administration to hold those who have been directly involved in the human rights atrocities in the Philippines in the last ten years be held accountable.

We also reiterate our call to the Philippine Government to implement the recommendations of the United Nations Special Rapporteur, Philip Alston, and to stop its counter-insurgency campaign, Operation Plan BantayLaya.

We trust and expect that you will heed the international call, to which we lend our voice, for the immediate release of the 43 health workers, that they may be reunited with their families and continue their service to poor communities.

In the spirit of living and defending justice and human rights for all, we are called by our Christian commitment and witness to be in solidarity especially with the marginalized people and communities in the Philippines and around the world.

We are hopeful that the new government, under your direction, will promote policies and take actions to uphold human rights for all.

Yours sincerely,

Christine Housel Horacio Mesones
General Secretary Chairperson

 

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

 

 

IFMSA Brazil Statement on Morong 43

 

International Federation of Medical Students Associations of Brazil
Alameda Santos, n.º 1.800, 8º andar, CJ 8032,
Bairro Cerqueira César, São Paulo/SP
CEP: 01418200| Tel.+ 55 11 3170-­-3251 | presidente@ifmsabrazil.org
www.ifmsabrazil.org | CNPJ 02300156/0001-­-13


Dear Mr. President Benigno Aquino III,

The International Federation of Medical Students Association of Brazil (IFMSA-­-Brazil), as a representative of the International Federation of Medical Students Association (IFMSA) in this nation, which speaks on behalf of more than five hundred medical students, requires the release of 43 health workers in Morong, that have been detained in Camp Capinpin in Tanay, Rizal, without respect to their legal rights and under torture.

Medical doctors, nurses, and community health workers, who had already worked within several communities in Far-­-Flung provinces of Philippines as well as Morong, were attending a training organized by the Community Medicine Foundation. The health workers were only helping people and providing them a bit of dignity. On February 6th 2010, though, the Armed Forces of the Philippines have had them handcuffed, blindfolded and held in isolation for days, without even considering their legal and human rights.

As the days followed, representatives from the government’s Commission on Human Rights were even denied entry to the camp where the detainees were kept the following day. The refusal to honor the order of the Supreme Court is an absurd, as well as a classic manifestation of impunity that no human being should suffer.

“The only weapon that a health worker carries with him in the so-­-called battlefield is the stethoscope for the doctor, the sphygmomanometer for the nurses and the cotton balls for the other community health workers, and their only common enemy is the disease that threatens the community,” said Dr. Bu C. Castro, spokesman of the Philippine Medical Association and president of the Alliance of All Health Organizations of the Nation, statement that, we, Brazilian medical students here represented by IFMSA-­-Brazil, truly believe and pursuit as a goal for our medical careers. This is our strong statement. We believe in the proficiency of Aquino Government, its righteousness and political power based on social peace promotion, and caring for the majority well being of your Philippines people.

Moreover, aware of Philippines' government subscription under The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we expect urgent measures and vigorous actions over on the release of 43 health workers.

Sincerely,

Caio Augusto Prearo Pelosi
President of IFMSA Brazil

Cinthia Jaqueline Baia de Souza
National Officer on Human Rights and Peace -­- IFMSA Brazil


 

   

BONUS TRACKS

An album (of 7 songs) and a song the G20s don't want to hear

   
   

MAKIBAKA: RAKENROL TUNGONG PAGBABAGO

An album of 7 songs

 

Listen, share, and download Makibaka Rakenrol Tungong Pagbabago, a rock and roll album for and about the struggle for meaningful change. www.makibakathealbum.com

 

Makibaka! (Struggle) is a rock 'n roll album for and about the people's struggle for change. A collection of songs promoting social awareness that are free to listen to, download, and distribute for non-commercial purpose. The songs in the collection are written by Drea...m Worker, Karl Ramirez, and Leoncio Bagani. Arranged and performed in collaboration with people's artists Tony Palis and Walkie Miraña of the Concerned Artists of the Philippines.

 

]

 

vimeo.com

 

This video was made to defy and circumvent the deportation of Jess Santiago, and 4 other activists, who were barred from entering South Korea where the G20 meeting will be held. 11.08.2010

 

The song "Morning Dew" (in English) is described as follows:
--------------
Originally written and sung by Kim Min-gi, "Morning Dew" described
people's enthusiasm for democracy in a metaphorical way, such as "The
red sun rises above the graveyard and the sultry heat in the middle of
...the day is the trial for me." The song, which was frequently chanted in
protests, was on the government list of forbidden songs until the late
1980
-----------
That should explain why the Koreans/G20 do not want Jess Santiago to sing and so they promptly deported hm.

 

Click below to download lyrics and mp3:

http://www.arkibongbayan.org/hamog/Hamog.htm

 

   
           
           
**          

 

/p

  
 

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