Antipolo City, November 25, 2010—A human rights’ group in Hong Kong has assailed Pres. Benigno C. Aquino III for the Morong 43 case, as the incarcerated health workers and their families have received nothing from the Chief Executive but excuses.
Aglipayan priest, Fr. Dwight de la Torre, co-convener of the HK Campaign for the Advancement of Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines (HKCAHRPP) said that after nine months of the Morong 43’s illegal arrest and detention, still their call for justice has apparently fallen upon the deaf ears of “PNoy”.
“Moreover, it appears that the new administration has ignored the findings of the then-Commission on Human Rights chairwoman, Leila de Lima, now his Secretary of the Department of Justice, that the warrant was not intended for the person or group of persons that were taken into custody by the arresting officials of the military that day. In addition, there have been serious human rights violations, including torture, committed against the 43 health workers by the joint forces of the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines during and after their arrest,” de la Torre said in a statement.
The priest also said that despite the international outcry calling for the immediate release of the detained health workers, the president seems to be not bothered. Instead, he has taken a hands-off policy on the issue of the Morong 43.
“Worse, PNoy’s early pronouncement on the warrant of arrest and evidence gathered against the victims as being “fruits of the poisonous tree” are nothing more but an attempt to appease the victims and their families, for there has not been any visible attempt by the president to remove this “poison” from the “tree”,” he said.
He also asked the President on how long it will keep on issues of human rights violations and calls for justice for the Morong 43 and their families.
“How many alibis should the President give to the public just to pretend that his administration is different from former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in terms of human rights protection and the delivery of justice to victims?” he said.
The priest also assailed the chief executive of having a double standard when it comes to the cases of human rights violations, referring to the the issuance of Proclamation No. 50, giving the rebel soldiers belonging to Magdalo, amnesty. This proclamation, however, was revoked due to criticisms coming from the Senate.
“PNoy’s lack of action and his insistence to leave the fate of the Morong 43 to the courts are nothing but excuses. His double standard in terms of giving justice to the victims of human rights violations and political persecution is very alarming. It only indicates that he is no better than his predecessor. We in the Hong Kong Campaign for the Advance of Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines will continually press the issue of the illegal detention and human rights violations against the Morong 43 until PNoy takes decisive action to free the victims and prosecute the perpetrators,” de la Torre’s statement concludes. (Noel Sales Barcelona/CBCPNews)