Dumagat political prisoner asks court to attend his father's wake

Press Statement | June 21, 2017

“For humanitarian considerations, political prisoner Eddie Cruz should be allowed to visit the wake of his father. The government has deprived him too long of his liberty to be with his loved ones, since his arrest on fabricated charges," said Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general.

The Cruz family hails from the Dumagat tribe in Sitio Tuay, Rodriguez, Rizal. Before his arrest, Eddie worked as a farmer and was also occasionally hired as a tour guide in Rizal, as the breadwinner of the family. Since his arrest by virtue of a trumped up charge of illegal possession of firearms on August 28, 2010, his elderly parents had no choice but to work in the “kaingin” to meet the family’s needs.

Tatay Cresencio Cruz 

His family rarely visits Eddie because they had meager means even for transportation to his detention center in Camp Bagong Diwa. It is only during court hearings that Eddie was able to see his parents. His parents though joined some activities in the past months under the Duterte administration to call for the release of Eddie and all political prisoners. 

Screen shot of video of Cresencio and Ligaya Cruz, Eddie's parents, at the solidarity fasting for release of political prisoners in December 2016. 

On June 17, 2017, Eddie Cruz’s father, Cresencio Cruz, had just finished harvesting crops in their “kaingin” together with Eddie's brother, when Tatay Cresencio complained of cramps. He later died and the family was not able to know the real cause of his death.

On June 20, Cruz's counsels from the National Union of Peoples' Lawyers (NUPL) filed a motion at the Regional Trial Court Branch 77 in San Mateo, Rizal to seek the court's permit for Eddie to visit his father's wake. 

"Many powerful and moneyed personalities like Janet Napoles, Gloria Arroyo and Juan Ponce Enrile have been granted leniency to visit their doctors and attend family gatherings. Others have availed of speedy justice in their favor despite strong allegations of corruption and plunder. Many were also detained in the comforts of their own homes, hospitals and dormitory-like facilities which are far from the conditions in regular jails,” said Palabay.

"The case of Andrea Rosal who was only allowed to visit the wake of her newborn daughter for two hours, and the cases of Bernabe Ocasla and Eduardo Serrano who endured subhuman conditions in jails that eventually led to their deaths, personify the place of ordinary people in this kind of justice system that favors the rich and powerful," she added. 

“Political prisoner Eddie Cruz must not only be allowed to visit the wake of his father, but ultimately to walk free out of jail and be given partial justice for his illegal arrest, torture and seven years of incarceration," ended Palabay.###

For more information on the illegal arrest, torture and detention of Eddie Cruz, please see: http://bulatlat.com/main/2010/08/26/incarceration-of-kin-displaces-dumagat-family/

Reference: Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, 0917-3162831 

Karapatan Public Information Desk, 0918-9790580