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Rights groups and advocates fast in support of the Morong 43

Today, the human righs alliance, Karapatan, salutes and joins the health workers, collectively known as Morong 43, in their fasting to fight for their and other political prisoners’ freedom and assert their rights to be treated humanely, free from torture, cruel and degrading treatment as provided for in the Convention against Torture of the United Nations, to which the Philippine government is a signatory.

Karapatan also unites with and strongly supports the relatives of the Morong 43 as well as other sectors, in conducting a solidarity fasting, to express sympathy and support to the struggle being waged by the Morong 43 and other political prisoners.  

“The Morong 43 must be commended and supported in doing this fasting as a higher form of struggle in their fight for freedom and assertion of their rights to be treated humanely while in prison.  We, in Karapatan, condemn the military’s attempt to trivialize this struggle as “mere theatrics” just so to downplay this act of protest.  The military is afraid that their brazen disregard of the basic rights of the people will be further exposed in this fasting,” said ex-political detainee and Karapatan chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez. 

Rights group slams military’s circus of retaining custody of the Morong 43 political detainees!

The human rights group Karapatan strongly denounces the scripted show that the military of the 2nd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police have concocted and executed in the supposed “transfer” of the Morong 43 political detainees from Camp Capinpin to the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame.

It was the most cruel show in the land, with the Philippine Army going through the motions of bringing the detainees in buses (shattering their often-cited reason of not having resources for failing to bring the detainees to the hearing of the CA or the CHR) complete with escorts, parading them at the grounds of the Camp Crame only to be hustled back to Camp Capinpin, and the relatives who were happily looking forward to seeing and holding their loved ones were left holding empty air and in tears!

A closer look into the events of the past two days will show that these government entities – the Philippine Army and the PNP – have mounted a successfully-executed “operation” of thwarting the long-overdue transfer of the political detainees to a regular custodial facility away from the clutches of the military.  

CHR investigation on rights violations committed against Morong 43 must be supported

Where the Court of Appeals feared to tread

The CHR Investigation on human rights violations committed against and the conditions of the arrest and detention of the Morong 43 must be supported!

Rights group slams CA dismissal of habeas corpus petition of 43 health workers.

The human rights alliance Karapatan expressed its disgust at the Court of Appeals’ dismissal of the petition for the writ of habeas corpus filed by the relatives of 43 health workers who were arrested early February.

“It is now very apparent that this Court is becoming an arm of the Oplan Bantay Laya counter-insurgency program by handing down this abominable decision,”  declared Jigs Clamor, deputy seceretary general of the human rights alliance Karapatan and husband of the detained Dr. Merry Mia-Clamor, one of the Morong 43.

Free the 43 health care workers now!

Human rights alliance Karapatan today joins the relatives and different groups and organizations in support of the release of the illegally arrested 43 health workers, at the hearing of the petition for the writ of habeas corpus at the Court of Appeals.

The relatives filed a petition for the writ of habeas corpus at the Supreme Court and the high court’s First Division granted it yesterday, ordering the AFP to present all of the 43 health care workers who were forcibly taken on February 6 in Morong, Rizal, before the appellate court.

“We welcome this response of the SC,” Karapatan Secretary General Lovella de Castro said. “The arrest and detention of the health workers are illegal and they should immediately be freed.”

Relatives of 43 health workers file petition before SC,demand their immediate release

Human rights alliance Karapatan joined the relatives of the 43 abducted and illegally detained health workers in their filing for the petition of the writ of habeas corpus at the Supreme Court today.

The relatives were led by Karapatan Deputy Secretary General Roneo Clamor, whose wife Dr. Merry Mia-Clamor is one of the doctors forcibly taken by the joint military and police forces last Saturday, February 6.

The health workers were held incommunicado for almost three days in Camp Capinpin, Tanay, Rizal, and were denied their right to see their relatives and lawyers. It was only yesterday afternoon when some of the relatives, along with Commission on Human Rights Chairperson Leila de Lima, were allowed inside the camp to talk to the victims.

The petition prayed that all of the 43 health workers be presented before the Court and be immediately released.

Karapatan denounces state terrorism fomented by Philippine state security forces in the run-up to the May elections

Karapatan Deputy Secretary General Roneo Clamor demands for the release of his wife, Dr. Mary Mia, and 42 other health workers.Human rights alliance Karapatan strongly denounces the terrorism being foisted on groups critical of the Arroyo regime’s policies and human rights violations in the run-up to the May elections. Karapatan condemns the recent illegal arrest of more than 40 health workers and doctors, including the wife of Karapatan Deputy Secretary General Roneo Clamor, Dr. Mary Mia, who were conducting First Responders Training in Morong, Rizal early Saturday, February 6.

At 6:15 Saturday morning, at least 300 heavily armed elements of the combined forces of the 202nd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army (202IBPA) and the Rizal Provincial Philippine National Police (PNP) forced their way into the farmhouse of Dr. Melecia Velmonte in Morong, Rizal where the training was being held.

Karapatan condemns military for the killing of human rights advocate Fr. Lucero

Karapatan Alliance for the Advancement of Peoples' Rights today condemned the military for the killing of of human rights advocate and Catholic priest Fr. Cecilio Lucero and for other human rights violations in the province, at the public presentation of the report of the national fact-finding mission (NFFM).

The fact-finding mission which was conducted on October 7 to 10, 2009, was initiated by Karapatan and with Katungod-Sinirangang Bisayas-Northen Samar and the Promotion of Church People's Response (PCPR) to look into the Lucero’s killing.

KARAPATAN reiterates call for greater vigilance to protect the people’s rights; condemns continuing human rights violations

The human rights alliance Karapatan today raised the alarm on the continuing assault to the people’s rights and reiterates its call to the public for greater vigilance on the alarming continuing killings, abductions, militarization of both urban and rural communities, harassments and surveillance of civilians and other human rights violations reminiscent of the martial law period.

Jun Cruz Reyes at pressconIn a press conference today, Karapatan Chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez joined the UP organizations in denouncing the series of surveillance operations committed on artist, writer and UP professor Jun Cruz Reyes, by men believed to be military intelligence agents.

Reyes, a writer and professor at the University of the Philippines reported that on September 13, 2009, a man approached him at an eatery and photographed him without his permission. He also divulged that on the same day and on September 10, men who looked like soldiers went to and observed his house in Bulacan. Reyes also disclosed that on November 15, 2007, men in army fatigues with their faces covered attempted to bribe his neighbor to point out his whereabouts.  He also said that in August of 2007, two men who looked like soldiers attempted to enter his house but the dogs’ barking gave their presence away so the men ran when they saw that neighbours saw what they tried to do.  After this incident, his dog was poisoned. Reyes also revealed that in 2006, he was warned by his friend that he was in the Philippine Army's so-called "order of battle" list, a list believed to be targets for "liquidation." 

Never again to Martial Law! Resist and Fight Tyranny!

The 37th anniversary of the declaration of martial law today is not a reason to celebrate but to remember the dark period of our Philippine history when tyranny and oppression seemed never-ending. Victims of the Marcos dictatorship and those under Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo remind the nation to be always vigilant and struggle against those who attempt to crush the people's civil liberties and will for genuine social change.  This is also a day to honor the memories of those who laid down their lives fighting for the people’s democratic rights.

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