No to double standard, release the Morong 43 -- Karapatan

“No double standards please,” says Karapatan, a national alliance of human rights groups, as it presses  for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners, including the 43 health workers known as the Morong 43.

“We express our support in granting amnesty for all rebel soldiers, but we are dismayed by the inaction of the President on the plight of almost 400 political prisoners who, like the mutineers, fought the corrupt and repressive Arroyo regime,” said Jigs Clamor, Karapatan acting secretary general.

Clamor also added that in the particular case of the Morong 43, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima already submitted her recommendations to President. “But up to now, there is no action from Malacañang,” says Clamor.

“We remind the President and the public that the Morong 43 were arrested by the elements of the military on the basis of a faulty warrant and trumped up charges. They were physically and psychologically tortured and still languishing for more than eight months now,” Clamor also said.

According to Clamor, the international outcry for the release of the Morong 43 is mounting, and the President was asked for their release when he visited the United States.  Mercy Castro, one of the Morong 43 is due to give birth through a Caesarean operation on October 8. Last August, Judilyn Oliveros also gave birth, and is still under hospital arrest at the Philippine General Hospital.

“Morong 43 and all political prisoners are victims of injustice under the Arroyo administration. President Aquino must not prolong their suffering and injustices by releasing them now,” Clamor concluded. ##


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