Karapatan: OPAPP remains #paasa to hopeful political prisoners, release them now

"Enough of the delays, enough of the injustice, let all political prisoners be united with their loved ones," Roneo Clamor, deputy secretary general of Karapatan said in front of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP). “OPAPP should immediately work for the release of all political prisoners without excuses and deliberate misinformation,” Clamor said.
 “Political prisoners are compassionate people whose aspirations for genuine social change should be welcomed and not the other way around. They serve the people, they are parents, someone’s loved one, wrongly incarcerated,” Clamor said. There are 401 political prisoners arrested, charged with trumped up criminal cases and detained in relation to the NDFP rebellion. 

“OPAPP has already crushed the hopeful hearts of relatives when it has failed to hasten the releases, but it has stretched the agony of disappointment when Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process secretary Jesus G. Dureza announced the supposed release of 71 political prisoners,” Clamor said. Karapatan has maintained that not one political prisoner was released based on OPAPP’s fulfillment of its commitment, though some were released due to the merit of their own cases and legal remedies employed. “This, 60 days after the second round of GRP-NDFP talks which the GRP re-affirmed its commitment to release PPs starting with those for release on humanitarian grounds,” Clamor said.

“We see no signs that they will be released anytime soon, no dismissal of cases, granting of bail, or pardon for those convicted. All we hear are words of #paasa,” Clamor said. 

“Moving towards just peace should start with righting the injustices against political prisoners. This should be done immediately,” Clamor said. “Take for example, Dionisio Almonte, who was brought to the Philippine General Hospital due to his diabetes, pulmonary tuberculosis, slip disc and prognosis of prostate cancer,” Clamor said. Almonte is one of the 130 ailing political prisoners. 

“The release of political prisoners is more than a confidence building measure for the peace talks – it is the just, humane thing to do,” Clamor said. “Being imprisoned, tortured and made to suffer for aspiring to attain a peaceful and just society is plain wrong and should be rectified,” Clamor concluded.###