“From within prison walls, political prisoners are not unaware of the people’s rage against bureaucratic corruption,” said Ramon Patriarca, detained peace consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.
In a statement sent to Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) Patriarca cited President Aquino’s pork, and ” how billions more of the Malampaya and other presidential pork are pocketed through ghost projects. Of how billions upon billions of annual budget under Malacanang are ‘spent’-bereft of any transparency and the demands of accountability-under the cloak of presidential discretion and presumption of regularity.”
Patriarca also scored the corruption of jail officials saying “our daily food budget is subjected to as much as 60% commission when there are not enough funds to solve overly-cramped jail conditions. Nor for the medical and other basic services deserved by inmates rendered weak and sickly by deplorable jail situation. Nor to fill up vacant trial courts and create new ones to ensure our right to speedy trial.”
Of the 449 political prisoners in the country, Patriarca is the only remaining political prisoner detained in a military camp, at the AFP Central Command in Lapu-Lapu City. He is in solitary confinement for three years now.
At the Special Intesive Care Area-Camp Bagong Diwa, political prisoner’s denounced those in Malacanang, Congress and Senate and their minions saying “while they luxuriously feast and wallow in what can be squeezed from the sweat and blood of the already impoverished people, all the more and without conscience do they make the poor people go through suffering and oppression.”
“These big criminal thieves, and not only Napoles, should be the ones imprisoned, and not we political prisoners who they are victimizing, gagging, depriving of liberty and applying fascism against, because of our advocacies and efforts to arouse, organize and mobilize the people in the struggle for freedom, justice, rights, progress and to uplift the lives and dignity of the broad masses of the people,” SICA political prisoners said.
Break free from pork: nationwide protest of political prisoners to abolish pork
The September 19 break free from pork activities of political prisoners was a success, according to SELDA.
Political prisoners at the New Bilibid Prison held a 3-minute noise barrage. They also mounted streamers with slogans, “abolish pork barrel system! free all political prisoners!” They were able to gain the support of the other convicted prisoners, especially the Moro prisoners and even some guards.
Patriarca is on a 48-hour fasting, which started on February19-21, as a protest against the pork barrel system, for the non-operationalization of the RA 10368 (Marcos Victims Compensation Act), the arrest and detention of the Hacienda Luisita 11, and the death of a fellow political prisoner Allison Alcantara.
Other detainees in Metro Manila, Bicol, Bohol, Cebu, Misamis Oriental, and Bukidnon also held similar actions such as noise barrage, fasting, wearing of armbands with “no to pork barrel” slogan, and distribution of leaflets on the pork barrel issue among inmates. ###