Karapatan welcomes incoming president’s proposal to release all political prisoners


Karapatan welcomes the proposal of presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte to release all political prisoners through a general, unconditional and omnibus amnesty.


“This will partly give justice to the political prisoners, whose rights were violated,” said Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general.

There are 543 documented political prisoners in different parts of the country. Majority, if not all, of the political prisoners were detained based on trumped-up criminal charges against them, violating their rights under the GPH-NDFP Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG).
“There should be no set conditions on the release of political prisoners, especially the obligation to admit guilt because the political prisoners did not commit the crimes charged against them,” said Palabay.   

For their political activities, political prisoners are charged with common crimes such as arson, murder, frustrated murder and other similar crimes.

Of the 543 political prisoners, 18 are peace consultants of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. There are at least 88 ailing prisoners who need proper medical treatment and 48 are elderly.