Political prisoners start hunger strike/fasting; demand justice for Eduardo Serrano

As the remains of NDFP peace consultant Eduardo Serrano journeys back to his hometown in Naga City, his fellow political detainees today started their hunger strike/fasting and other protest actions for the injustice committed against Serrano and to all political prisoners. 

Political prisoners in the Special Intensive Care Area 1 at Camp Bagong Diwa start their fast and hunger strike today January 12 up to January 17, the schedule of the burial of Serrano. NDF peace consultants Adelberto Silva, Alan Jazmines, Ernesto Lorenzo, Ruben Saluta, and Tirso Alcantara, in a statement released in behalf of the political prisoners at SICA-1 said the fasting/hunger strike is “our passive act of expressing in this peaceful manner our commiseration with the demise of our fellow NDF peace consultant and foully arrested and wrongly charged elderly and sickly political prisoner, Eduardo Serrano, and our calls for speedy justice and rectification of injustice, including release of victims of trumped-up charges, victims of the slow crawl of justice and many others like us, who, in various aspects, remain victims of injustice; respect of human rights, including release of the elderly and sickly; respect of peace talks agreements, including release of detained NDF peace consultants.”

Joining the fasting/hunger strike are the women political prisoners at the Taguig City Jail, also in Camp Bagong Diwa; Among those who are fasting and on hunger strike is Maria Loida Magpatoc, also a peace consultant of the NDFP. 

"Malayo man ang distansya ng aming mga kinalalagyang piitan, ipinakita at ipinaramdam ni Ka Eddik ang isang mapagmalasakit, maalalahanin at mapanlikhang ama, kaibigan at kasama sa pamamagitan ng iba't ibang porma ng mensahe sa card, kapirasong papel na sulatan at makabayang pahayagan," (Although we don’t share the same detention cell, Ka Eddik showed his thoughtfulness and how he cared for us by sending us messages written in cards, small pieces of paper or through progressive readings.) political prisoners from New Bilibid Prisons (NBP)-Maximum Security Compound said in their statement. 

Starting today, the NBP Maximum Compound political prisoners will hang two portraits of Serrano at the NBP compound as a symbol of their grief and indignation. A mass and tribute will be held on January 13; and, protest march and noise barrage will be held on January 17, Serrano’s scheduled burial "to condemn the injustice committed by the US-Aquino government against Eduardo Serrano." 

"Ipinamalas ni ka Eddik sa amin ang tunay na tatak at katangian ng isang huwarang rebolusyonaryo na mahigpit na tumatangan sa tungkuling paglikuran ang sambayanan at inang bayan sa loob man ng mapagpahirap na piitan," (Ka Eddik showed us the mark of a true revolutionary who held on firmly to the commitment to serve the people and the country, in and out of the repressive jails) NBP political prisoners said. Three NDFP peace consultants Eduardo Sarmiento, Emeterio Antalan and Leopoldo Caloza are jailed at the NBP after they were convicted under the Aquino regime, despite false charges and JASIG protection. 

Sarmiento and Serrano met at Camp Crame where the latter was detained for seven years, from 2009 to 2013. Political prisoners who are still at Camp Crame and had known Ka Eddik, now wear black and red ribbons with wood crafted clenched fists to show their indignation.

More jail actions are expected in the next few days to call for justice for Ka Eddik as the Serrano family, his colleagues, friends and supporters bring Ka Eddik to his huling hantungan.

Serrano, a farming consultant and lecturer-trainer-adviser to farmers' organizations was imprisoned for more than 11 years for trumped-up criminal charges against a certain Rogelio Villanueva. For several years, Serrano's lawyers proved that Serrano is not Villanueva but it was only in 2015 that the Quezon City Trial Court Branch 98 ruled that the two are not the same person. Serrano and supporters expected an acquittal from the last two charges of multiple frustrated murder and kidnapping, meant for ‘Rogelio Villanueva’.