Relatives, friends and supporters of Morong 43

in a thanksgiving gathering at UP PGH


December 21, 2010


■    Video clips


■    Bonus Tracks







Press Statement
December 18, 2010

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chief Political Consultant
NDFP Negotiating Panel

I wish to salute the Morong 43 health workers for their perseverance in fighting for their rights and for a just cause. I congratulate them for their successful struggle and release. I am confident that their unjust imprisonment has strengthened their resolve to serve the exploited and impoverished people and render health services to them. I wish them still greater success in their noble endeavor.

I appreciate the lawyers who ably and steadfastly defended them and the millions of people and all the organizations and personages in the Philippines and abroad who clamored for the release of the Morong 43. I congratulate all of them, including the Deputy Speaker Lorenzo Tanada III and the senior statesman former Senator Wigberto Tanada, who visited the NDFP Negotiating Panel sometime ago and pledged to work for the release of the Morong 43 and all political prisoners.

I wish to express appreciation to GRP President Benigno Aquino III for his order to withdraw the false charges against the Morong 43 health workers, thus paving the way for their release. He heeded the longrunning public clamor for their release and adhered to his own expressed conviction that any fruit of the poisoned tree cannot be tolerated in the case of the Morong 43.

The prospects are looking bright for the forthcoming preliminary talks between representatives of the GRP and NDFP negotiating panels from January 14 to 18, 2011 in view of the GRP's show of respect for the safety and immunity guarantees for NDFP negotiating panel chairperson Luis Jalandoni during his current Manila visit, the current ceasefire between the armed forces of the GRP and NDFP and the release of Morong 43.

The preliminary talks are meant to pave the way for the resumption of the formal talks in the GRP-NDFP peace negotiating on February 15 to 21, 2011 by setting the agenda, ensuring further compliance with the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees and other existing agreements and agreeing on goodwill and confidence-building measures, including the long-expected release of political prisoners.

Millions of people and respected organizations and personages in the Philippines and abroad have called for the release of the political prisoners, especially in the aftermath of the release of close to 400 military prisoners and the Morong 43. The NDFP negotiating panel is hoping that the Aquino government is already preparing the way for the release of the political prisoners. ###


Some of the Morong 43



Bulatlat reports on Morong 43


Video: Women of Morong 43 Recall Indignities They Suffered in Hands of Philippine Military

In this webcast interview, three members of the recently freed “Morong 43″ talk about their life in detention, the indignities they suffered in the hands of the military, and how their ordeal affected their lives and their loved ones.




For 2 ‘Morong 43’ Moms, a New Beginning

Mercy Castro and Judilyn Oliveros gave birth while in police custody and had been under “hospital arrest.” Their release on Friday signaled not just a new beginning but, most importantly, a continuation of their struggle and commitment to help the poor.



For more stories and other content on the "Morong 43," click here.

Slideshow: 33 of the ‘Morong 43′ Walk Free


  PILC counsel Atty. Edre Olalia UP Manila Chancellor


5 of ‘Morong 43’ Remain in Jail, Face ‘Ridiculous, Spurious’ Charges

MANILA – Lyn, wife of Edwin Dematera, was among the relatives of the Morong 43 who patiently and eagerly waited for the release of their loved ones. While most of the relatives shed tears of joy upon the release on Friday evening, Lyn cried because of frustration and sadness. Edwin is among the five who have been left behind at the prison cell in Camp Bagong Diwa.

While 33 of the Morong 43 have been released, 10 of them remain in detention. At around 11:05 p.m. last night, 23 female detainees in Camp Bagong Diwa, including the two mothers who had given birth during detention, were released.

More than two hours later, only 10 of the male detainees were reunited with their loved ones. Five men have remained inside the Metro Manila District Jail in Camp Bagong Diwa and an additional five others – three women and two men — are under military custody at Camp Capinpin in Tanay, Rizal.

The 43 health workers were arrested on Feb. 6 in Morong, Rizal They were charged with illegal possession of firearms and explosives and were branded as members of the New People’s Army (NPA), armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

Pressured by the overwhelming local and international campaign for the release of the Morong 43, President Benigno S. Aquino III ordered on Dec. 10 the withdrawal of charges against the 43 health workers. Seven days later, on Dec. 17, the Regional Trial Court Branch 78 and the Morong Metropolitan Trial Court (MTC) both issued release orders for all the health workers.

However, the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued yesterday morning a list of alleged warrants of arrest for six of the 15 male detainees. Edre Olalia, one of the lawyers of the Morong 43 and secretary-general of the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL), said the DOJ list is based on military information.

Olalia said that the release of the five male detainees has been withheld despite absence of valid reasons for doing so. He explained that a detainee who has been ordered released could only be withheld if there is a warrant of arrest or commitment order against him or her. A commitment order refers to an order designating an arrested person to a particular detention facility.

“None has been produced during the past 10 months and during the trial. The government has not shown any valid documents to withhold their release until 2 a.m. this morning,” Olalia told “The burden is on the state to prove that there are valid warrants of arrest or commitment orders.”

Ridiculous Charges

Olalia said that the five remained in jail because of what he calls “spurious old cases and incredulous charges.” The five are Rogelio Villarisis, Edwin Dematera, Antonio de Dios, Adrin Garcia and Danny Pinero.

One of the male detainees, Ramon dela Cruz, was initially among the list; he was let go upon the assertion of the defense counsels. Olalia said the case filed against dela Cruz — violation of the anti-bouncing check law — was dismissed in 1999 and the accused was only 11 years old when the case was dismissed.

“These are ridiculous cases,” said Olalia, stating that the five were charged with drug dependency, rape and violation of the anti-bouncing check law.

Olalia said that the cases are very old, as early as 1999 and as late as 2003, “which is still very far back,” he added.

“It took them more than 10 months before the government says that there are outstanding charges against them. They had enough time,” Olalia bewailed.

Moreover, most of the names in the military’s list are very common names ascribed to the five, Olalia said. He said that the military insists that three of detainees used aliases such as Eulogio Castillo, Edwin Bustamante and Mario delos Santos. “This is sloppy and irresponsible work to ascribe the same names to our clients,” he said.

Olalia also pointed out that most of the charges were filed in Metro Manila when the accused are community health workers based in the provinces.

Military Custody, Illegal

Olalia said that the military custody of the other five detainees is “illegal from the start.”

Olalia said the five should have been placed in a civilian detention facility. After their arrest, the 43 health workers were held under military captivity in Camp Capinpin, headquarters of the 2nd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army. For almost three months, the detainees decried physical and psychological torture from the hands of the military.

On May 1, 38 of the Morong 43 were transferred to a regular detention facility in Camp Bagong Diwa. The five were separated from the rest and have stayed at Camp Capinpin.

They are Eleanor Carandang, Valentino Paulino, Chenilyn Tawagon, Jennilyn Pizarro and John Mark Barrientos. The military claims that the five admitted that they are communist rebels but their relatives insist that they are being held under duress.

Olalia said that examination of the circumstances of the continued military detention of the five points to the reasonable conclusion that they are being held against their will. Again, Olalia asserted that the five could be held only if there is a valid warrant of arrest or commitment order against them. (

Gabriela Rep. Emmi de Jesus


Bayan Muna President Satur Ocampo


M43 Dr. Merry Clamor


M43 Nurse Gary Liberal

M43 Jane Balleta M43 midwife KMU's Ka Roger


From: Piknoy Weekly


Morong 43 taas-kamaong lumaya

Kababaihan ng Morong 43, matapos ang unang mga hakbang sa kanilang pagkalaya. (Macky Macaspac)

Kababaihan ng Morong 43, matapos ang unang mga hakbang sa kanilang pagkalaya. (Macky Macaspac)


Matapos ang sampung buwan at pitong araw na pagkakabilanggo, pinalaya ang 33 sa 43 mga manggagawang pangkalusugan na tinaguriang Morong 43.


Isa-isang lumabas ang mga kababaihang bilanggong pulitikal, pasado alas-11 ng gabi noong Sabado. Unang lumabas si Delia Ocasla sa Metro Manila District Jail (MMDJ) na nasa loob ng Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig. Sinalubong siya ng masigabong palakpakan mula sa mga kaanak at tagasuporta ng Morong 43.


Ofel Beltran-Balleta, ina ni Jane ng Morong 43, hawak ang release order ng Morong RTC. (KR Guda)

Ofel Beltran-Balleta, ina ni Jane ng Morong 43, hawak ang release order ng Morong RTC. (KR Guda)


“Palayain ang lahat ng bilanggong pulitikal,” taas kamaong sigaw ng isang babae sa Morong 43 habang isa-isang lumalabas sa gate ng MMDJ.  Puno ng emosyon ang pagsalubong sa 23 kababaihang bilanggong pulitikal ng kanilang mga kaanak, mahigpit na yakap at iyak ng kagalakan ang sumalubong sa mga ito.


Ganito din ang eksena  nang lumabas pasado alas-dos ng umaga ng Disyembre 18 ang 10 sa mga lalaking bilanggo mula sa hiwalay na kulungan.


Naiwan sa MMDJ ang lima pa dahil diumano sa mga lumang kasong nahukay ng Department of  Justice.


Five males remained (over the objection of defense attorneys) in Bicutan because of spurious old cases and incredulous charges like bouncing checks charges and because of namesakes,” paglilinaw ni Atty. Edre Olalia, abogado ng Morong 43.


Sinabi din ni Olalia na kagyat nilang aasikasuhin ang mga kaso ng naiwang mga bilanggo upang makalaya agad ang mga ito.


Sampung buwang paghihintay sa kalayaan


Ipinag-utos ni Judge Gina Cenit-Escoto ng Morong Regional Trial Court Branch 78, na palayain ang tinaguriang Morong 43 matapos iatras ng DOJ ang kaso laban sa mga ito.


Nakasaad sa desisyon na kagyat na palayain ng BJMP at ibasura ang mga ebidensiyang nakuha diumano sa reyd noong Pebrero 6 at kasuhan ng Armed Forces of the Philippines ang mga ito ng illegal possession of explosives/firearms.  Bukod sa kaso na isinampa sa RTC, tatlo sa Morong 43 ang kinasuhan sa Municipal Trial Court ng paglabag sa election gun ban ngunit pareho itong ibinasura.


Wherefore the motion to withdraw filed by the state through the prosecutor of the Department of Justice with the concurrence of the accused through counsel is hereby granted and dismiss the cases filed against the accused,” bahagi ng order ng korte.


Ibinasura din ang oposisyon ni Jun Alcover ng maka-militar na party-list na ANAD laban sa pagpapalabas ng release order ng korte.


Bago ipalabas ang kautusan ng korte, ilang araw din na nagbantay ang mga kaanak ng Morong 43 sa harapan ng RTC Morong. At sa paglabas ng pinal na kautusan kahapon, walang pagsidlan ng tuwa ang mga ito.

Yakap sa isa, pagpalit ng sombrero sa isa pa. Kalayaan sa sampung lalaki ng Morong 43. (KR Guda)

Yakap sa isa, pagpalit ng sombrero sa isa pa. Kalayaan sa sampung lalaki ng Morong 43. (KR Guda)


“Masayang regalo sa amin para sa pasko ito, kahit abutin kami ng gabi maghihintay kami dito, mahawakan lang namin ang order na iyan,” naluluhang nabigkas ni Evelyn Montes.  Matapos nito mahigpit na yakap ang isinalubong niya sa kanyang asawang si Dr. Alexis Montes, kinagabihan matapos itong lumabas sa gate ng MMDJ.


Bago mailabas ang pinal na desisyon ng dalawang korte (RTC at MTC), nagkaroon ng ilang kalituhan at pangamba, matapos mapag-alaman at makakuha ng kopya ng motion to arraign ang mga kaanak ng Morong 43 na diumano’y isinampa ng abogado ng mga militar na humihiling sa korte nang pagdinig sa kaso ng limang bilanggong nasa kustodiya ng militar sa Camp Capinpin.


Tuloy ang paglilingkod para sa kalusugan ng sambayanan


Sa press conference na ginanap matapos silang salubungin ng mga tagasuporta at iba pang kaanak sa Quezon City, kalakhan ng mga dating bilanggong pulitikal na tinaguriang Morong 43 ang nagsabing itutuloy pa rin nila ang kanilang paglilingkod sa mga mamamayan para sa maayos na kalusugan.

“Kung hindi sa ingay na nilikha ng kilusang masa, maaring hindi pumabor si PNoy sa aming kalagayan,” ani Jane Balleta, isa sa dating bilanggong pulitikal na diumano’y dumanas ng tortyur sa kamay ng military, sa kabila nang pagkakaroon niya ng sakit na epilepsy.


Sinabi din ni Dr. Merry Mia Clamor, isa din sa mga dating bilanggong pulitikal, na ang kaso umano ng Morong 43 ay isa lamang sa mga kaso ng paglabag sa karapatang pantao sa buong bansa. “Ang kabiguan ng gobyerno na magbigay ng sapat na kalusugan sa mamamayan ay isa ding porma ng paglabag,” aniya.


Simula ng makulong ang Morong 43 noong Pebrero, hindi tumigil sa paghingi ng katarungan si Adoring Paulino, ina ni Valentino Paulino isa sa limang dating bilanggong pulitikal na  kasalukuyang nasa kustodiya pa rin ng militar sa Camp Capinpin sa Tanay at diumano’y umaming isang kasapi ng NPA.


Kasama siyang naghintay sa paglabas ng mga kasamahan ng kanyang anak sa Camp Bagong Diwa.

Sa kabuuan tatlumpu’t tatlo sa Morong 43 ang aktuwal na lumaya, 23 ang babae at sampung  lalaki mula sa MMDJ,  lima ang naiwan dito at lima ang nasa Camp Capinpin.


Tingnan ang mga larawan ng pagpapalaya sa 23 babae at 10 lalaki ng Morong 43.

Tingnan din ang ilang larawan ng paghihintay ng mga kaanak sa harap ng Morong RTC.







Atty. Edre Olalia summarizes Morong 43 legal campaign

(under construjction)







Morong 43 Dr. Merry and child Igoy at Christmas time and out of prison.

The military deprived Merry and lefty child of precious 10 months of bonding times that are lost forever.

In the next row is Morong 43 62-year old Dr. Alexis Montes and his wife

who worked hard with various groups for the release of her husband and companions.


◄  Free Morong 43 posters on Taft Avenue, fronting UP PGH


A big tarpaulin at the entrance of UP PGH  ►