The Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) calls on the Department of Justice to immediately release political prisoner Benny Barid, 54, on humanitarian grounds.
Barid was rushed to the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) Hospital-Maximum Security due to chronic asthmatic bronchitis with emphysema. Barid has been going in and out of the NBP hospital for his asthma attacks since 2010, because of unhealthy prison conditions. The asthma attacks became more frequent for lack of proper and adequate medical attention that has now worsened to chronic asthmatic bronchitis.
Barid cannot stand by himself. He has been on wheelchair and is very weak and thin. Fellow political prisoners are helping him for his medical needs. His further stay at the NBP Hospital made him more vulnerable to various communicable diseases.
There are now 504 political prisoners; and of the 504, 53 are with various ailments. Like Barid, they should be immediately released on humanitarian ground. Several other ailing political prisoners died while in detention because of lack of proper medical attention, among them Crisanto Fat and Alison Alcantara.
A victim of trumped up charges, Barid was arrested in July 2006. He was accused of involvement in an alleged massacre that supposed to happen in 2004 in Ilocos Norte. For this, he was sentenced with three counts of life imprisonment.
Prior to this, Barid’s child was hostaged by the military to force him to surrender. ###