July 16, 2012
Free all political prisoners, demand for general, unconditional and omnibus amnesty
Political Prisoners start fasting until Aquino’s SONA
“Political prisoners in different detention centers today started their week long fasting until PNoy’s SONA. Free all political prisoners, demand for general, unconditional and omnibus amnesty!” Angie Ipong, secretary general of Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainees laban sa Detensyon at Amnestiya (SELDA) said. Relatives of political prisoners, people’s organizations and other human rights organizations have also mounted a fasting center in front of the Department of Justice to show their support on the plight of the political prisoners.
Political prisoners from the Southern Mindanao Region, Compostela Valley, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Batangas Provincial Jail, Isabela Provincial Jail, New Bilibid Prisons in Muntilupa City, Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City and Camp Crame in Quezon City joined the fasting.
“This government has continuously focused on prosecuting activists and their symphatizers because of their political beliefs,” Angie Ipong said.
“The political prisoners demand what they think is just for the society. They shouldn’t be treated as criminals as what the PNoy government is trying to convey before the public.” Ipong said. She cited a latest case of arrest of Agnes Mesina, a development worker working with the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines in Cagayan Province. Mesina was arrested for a trumped up charge of frustrated murder on July 4 during a meeting with Makabayan Coalition where ACT Partylist Rep. Antonio Tinio was also present. “Elizabeth Principe and Myrna Cruz are co-accused in this case!” Angie adds. Principe and Cruz were already jailed by the government for trumped up charges but managed to dismiss all the cases against them. “Detaining critics of the government is nothing but a desperate act of the government to keep its perceived enemies silent,” Ipong added.
Ipong also mentioned that among 385 political prisoners in the Philippines (105 of which are under the Aquino Regime), there are 13 elderly, 48 sick with different ailments, 20 have been detained for so long and their release overdue. They should immediately be released for humanitarian reasons.
Detained likewise are 13 consultants of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in the peace negotiations who were abducted and detained despite being covered and protected by the JASIG (Joint Agreement on Security and Immunity Guarantees) signed by both the GPH (Government of the Philippines) and the NDFP.
“If PNoy will continue to practice prosecuting his critics rather than the perpetrators of extrajudicial killings and other grave forms of human rights violations. We are definite that the Filipino people will continue to assert their rights for just and lasting society” Ipong concluded. ###
Reference: Angie Ipong, Secretary General Contact Number: 09499587373