Political prisoner Apolonio Barado was brought to the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) hospital at 8 a.m. this morning due to chest pains. According to Dr. Beng Rivera-Reyes, secretary-general of the Health Action for Human Rights (HAHR), patient experienced chest pains and was subsequently admitted. Dr. Sadsad of the NBP hospital said the patient is stable but the prison hospital does not have the basic cardiac and blood sugar monitoring equipment, and that oral medicine is all that they can give the patient. Dr. Sadsad said that Barado is recommended for transfer to a higher facility.
Dr. Reyes, along with KARAPATAN paralegal Ofelia Beltran, immediately went to the NBP hospital today to visit Barado but they were not allowed to see the patient because officials authorized to approve their visit was not present since it’s a non-working day. They were only allowed to talk to his doctor via phone. Dr. Reyes expressed that even if the doctor has recommended transfer, there are no personnel who will process said transfer.
Apolonio Barado, 62, arrested on August 9, 2001, had already spent 15 years in prison. He is currently detained at the New Bilibid Prison – Maximum Security Compound after being wrongly convicted for trumped-up charges of multiple murder and multiple frustrated murder. Barado has coronary artery disease, hypertensive cardiovascular disease, and diabetes mellitus, and has previously suffered a heart attack.
Apolonio Barado is among the 130 sickly political prisoners recommended for immediate release on humanitarian grounds, as part of the Government of the Philippines’ (GRP) obligation and commitment. The past week already saw the death of ailing and elderly Bernabe Ocasla, also among those in the list submitted to GRP. Ocasla, 66, died on November 28, 2016 after three days in coma.
Karapatan said the release of all political prisoners, including the elderly and sickly, requires urgent action from the Duterte administration, on humanitarian and just grounds. Yesterday, December 3, political prisoners (excluding the sick and elderly) and their relatives started to fast and other forms of appeals and protests to press for the release of all political prisoners. A sympathy fast center is set up at the Mendiola Bridge in Manila.
Dr. Beng Rivera-Reyes, Secretary General, Health Action for Human Rights (0908-8624524)
Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, Karapatan (0917-3162831)