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Campaigns on Political Prisoners
Gen. Danilo Lim visits hunger strikers at NBP, joins call for release of political prisoners
On Political Prisoners
Thursday, 18 August 2011 09:40
Gen. Danilo Lim visits hunger strikers at NBP, joins call for release of political prisoners

August 16, 2011-Former Scout Ranger commander and an ex-political detainee himself, Gen. Danilo Lim, is joining the human rights community led by the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) and the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), representatives of the Comission on Human Rights, and the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines - National Secretariat for Social Action –Justice and Peace (CBCP-NASSA) in a visit this afternoon to political prisoners at the National Bilibid Prison (NBP) who are now on their 23rd day of hunger strike.

Joining Lim is another ex-political detainee, Nilo Tayag, who is now a bishop of the Philippine Independent Church (IFI).

On Saturday, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) urged President Benigno Aquino III to free political prisoners through an executive clemency especially for those who have already served their long and unjust sentences.

Partido ng Manggaga renewed its call for President Aquino to end the sufferings of the remaining political prisoners, many of them had been convicted on false charges of common crimes.

One of the hunger strikers, Juanito Itaas, was in jail since 1989 for the assassination of US Col. James Rowe, a charged he vehemently denied.  In prison for 22 years, Itaas is now considered one of the longest serving political detainee in the world, next to Nelson Mandela who was imprisoned for 27 years for sabotage and high treason.  According to reports, Israel is holding the longest serving political prisoner, a Palestinian, who is serving his 34th year in prison.
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 August 2011 09:44
 
Malacañang meets with supporters and relatives of Political Prisoners on Hunger Strike
On Political Prisoners
Thursday, 18 August 2011 09:32
Malacañang meets with supporters and relatives of Political Prisoners on Hunger Strike

On the 23rd day of political prisoners’ hunger strike protest (August 16, 2011), Malacañang finally meets with members of civil society organizations to discuss the plight of the more than 300 political prisoners in the country.

“Finally Malacañang has decided to look into the plight of political prisoners languishing in jails nationwide.  We hope that this dialogue results in the revival of the Presidential Committee on Bail, Recognizance and Pardon and the speedy processing of the release of political prisoners,” Emmanuel Amistad, Executive Director of the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) said.     

The meeting was the government’s response to the calls of the political prisoners led by those at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) that started their self starvation protest last July 25, 2011 coinciding with President Aquino’s State of the Nation Address (SONA).

The hunger strikers demanded for the government to draft a clear national human rights program, to release all political prisoners and to institute prison reforms particularly the amendment of the Board of Pardons and Parole (BPP) guidelines.

It was also triggered by the death of Mariano Umbrero, the cancer stricken political prisoner who was granted executive clemency four days after he died.

Led by human rights groups Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), Medical Action Group (MAG) and Balay Rehabilitation Center, together with peoples’ organizations and relatives of the hunger strikers, they appealed for government’s immediate action for the release of the political prisoners.
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 August 2011 09:36
 
“Proclaim liberty to the captives… Set free the Oppressed” - Statement by CBCP-NASSA
On Political Prisoners
Sunday, 14 August 2011 10:08
“Proclaim liberty to the captives… Set free the Oppressed” A Statement of Concern on the Plight of Political Prisoners in the Country (13 August 2011)

CLC_Caravan_for_decent_job_Subic_photo_by_Egay_212_smallNearly three weeks ago, July 25, hundreds of political detainees around the country began a synchronized hunger strike to protest the government’s inadequate agenda on human rights protection and its seeming disregard of the conditions of political prisoners.

Since the early ‘80s, more than 300 political prisoners have been languishing in prison cells throughout the country without explicit assurance of judicial remedy or executive clemency. Some of whom have already died or gotten ill in custody as a direct result of the government’s inability to provide for their medical treatment. The circumstances of neglect and eventual demise of some of these prisoners qualify as violations against human dignity and protection.

The National Secretariat for Social Action – Justice and Peace expresses deep concern over the condition of the political detainees, especially those on hunger strike. Three weeks without food will have surely and rapidly deteriorated their conditions. We wish to solicit the immediate action of the government to prevent unnecessary deaths.

We also denounce the underhanded conduct of law enforcement agencies that oftentimes criminalize the legitimate struggle of some groups and individuals.

We call on the judiciary to expedite the process of review of the detainees’ cases and grant the immediate and unconditional release of those whose arrests are deemed to be politically-motivated.

President Aquino abstractedly speaks about improvements in human rights situation in the country. The call for a clear human rights framework by the political detainees is a judicious opportunity for him to demonstrate his sincerity to uphold peace and national reconciliation.
Last Updated on Sunday, 14 August 2011 10:14
 
Health of political prisoners in NBP deteriorating as they approach the 12th day of their hunger strike
On Political Prisoners
Friday, 05 August 2011 15:08

PRESS RELEASE
August 5, 2011

Health of political prisoners in NBP deteriorating as they approach the 12th day of their hunger strike

Six (6) of the political prisoners holding their hunger strike in New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City were rushed to the NBP hospital this Thursday as they approached the 12th day of their self starvation protest for their release.

According to the rights group Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), the hunger strikers who were rushed to the hospital were Rodel Alcon, Edgar Apolona, Apolonio Barado, Diony Sarad, Bas Esmael and Christopher Balneg.

“They are already experiencing the effect of having no intake of food for almost two weeks now.  The NBP doctors regularly check on their health condition and had been advising Apolonio Barado to stop his hunger strike due to his unstable health condition, but he insists on pursuing.  They are all persistent and they want the government to start listening to their plea for freedom,” said Emmanuel Amistad, Executive Director of TFDP.

The hunger strike protest was triggered by the death of their co-inmate Mariano Umbrero last July 15, 2011.  Umbrero was the cancer-stricken political prisoner who was eventually given clemency by President Aquino four days after his death.

Last Updated on Friday, 05 August 2011 15:10
 
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