Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) calls on the Department of Justice to immediately release political prisoner Benny Barid, 54, on humanitarian grounds.
Barid was rushed to the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) Hospital-Maximum Security due to chronic asthmatic bronchitis with emphysema. Barid has been going in and out of the NBP hospital for his asthma attacks since 2010, because of unhealthy prison conditions. The asthma attacks became more frequent for lack of proper and adequate medical attention that has now worsened to chronic asthmatic bronchitis.
Barid cannot stand by himself. He has been on wheelchair and is very weak and thin. Fellow political prisoners are helping him for his medical needs. His further stay at the NBP Hospital made him more vulnerable to various communicable diseases.
There are now 504 political prisoners; and of the 504, 53 are with various ailments. Like Barid, they should be immediately released on humanitarian grounds. Several other ailing political prisoners died while in detention because of lack of proper medical attention, among them Crisanto Fat and Alison Alcantara.
A victim of trumped up charges, Barid was arrested in July 2006. He was accused of involvement in an alleged massacre that supposed to have happened in 2004 in Ilocos Norte. For this, he was sentenced with three counts of life imprisonment.
Prior to this, Barid’s child was hostaged by the military to force him to surrender.
SELDA National Office:
2/F, Erythrina Building
#1 Maaralin corner Matatag Streets,
Brgy. Central District, Diliman
Quezon City 1101, Philippines
The Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) is an organization of former political prisoners in the Philippines. Founded on December 4, 1984, SELDA was initiated by newly-released political prisoners of the martial law period. SELDA’s primary task is to work for the release of all political prisoners and to see to it that humane treatment of those who are still in detention are complied with by the Philippine authorities. SELDA advocates justice for current and former political prisoners. It calls for the mobilisation of resources in support of political prisoners, former detainees and their families. It carries out legislative advocacy for the indemnification and rehabilitation of political prisoners. SELDA goes into partnership and builds solidarity with concerned individuals and groups for the freedom and welfare of political prisoners and all victims of tyranny.