Calling to “Jail the plunderers and release all political prisoners!” Karapatan, SELDA and other human rights organizations today held a protest picket in front of the general headquarters of the Philippine National Police at the Camp Crame, Quezon City. Camp Crame is reportedly being prepared for the detention of legislators allegedly involved in the pork barrel scam.
“Actually, the BS Aquino government and the PNP need not construct or renovate a building for these 100 pork barrel suckers. This government need only to release Andrea Rosal and 489 political prisoners to give space to the plunderers of the people’s money,” said Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan.
She said the 489 political prisoners are facing trumped up charges making their detention illegal. There are 40 elderly political prisoners and 50 who are truly sick, “and not just faking out sickness to stay in private hospitals”.
Palabay also cited the 14 peace consultants of the National Democratic Front who are under the protection of the Joint Immunity and Safety Guarantees (JASIG) but are nonetheless detained as the BS Aquino regime continues to renege on previously signed agreements with the NDFP.
“While political prisoners like Andrea Rosal suffer from the inhuman jail condition and inadequate medical attention, these plunderers who siphoned off people’s money are welcomed with brand new facilities,” added Palabay.
“Dapat nasa masikip at maliit na kulungan ang mga patabaing baboy. Sa ganito rin dapat makulong ang mga pulitikong pinataba ng pork barrel. (Pigs being fattened are confined in a pig sty and that’s where the politicians who pigged out on the nation’s coffers should stay),” said Palabay.
Kung sabagay, ganun din naman halos ang kalagayan sa ating mga kulungan, (The jails where the political prisoners are detained are no different from a pig sty, and that adds to the injustice committed against them) while Janet Lim-Napoles, the queen of pork, is being spoiled by the BS Aquino government by giving in to all her whims,” she said.
Being held at the Custodial Center of Camp Crame are peace consultants Benito Tiamzon, Wilma Austria-Tiamzon, Renante Gamara and Eduardo Serrano. There are seven more political prisoners in with them, five of whom were with the Tiamzons when they were arrested.
Aside from calling for the immediate release of Andrea Rosal, the rights groups and peace advocates also called on the Aquino government to resume the peace talks with the NDFP and release 14 detained NDFP consultants.
Cristina “Tinay” Palabay
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Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights
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KARAPATAN is an alliance of human rights organizations and programs, human rights desks and committees of people’s organizations, and individual advocates committed to the defense and promotion of people’s rights and civil liberties. It monitors and documents cases of human rights violations, assists and defends victims and conducts education, training and campaign.