*Female warden disallows visit of doctor of detainee’s choice*
The national human rights alliance Karapatan today called on the attention
of the Philippine government authorities to stop the retaliatory tactics
against the hunger strike staged by the Morong 43 political prisoners in the
Camp Bagong Diwa detention center.
Today is the third day of the healthworkers’ hunger strike for their
release. Karapatan particularly cited Camp Bagong Diwa Jail Warden Senior
Inspector Mary Jane Clemente’s refusal to allow doctors to check up on the
detained Morong 43 women.
According to Jigs Clamor, Karapatan acting secretary general and husband of
one of the female doctor detainees, Jail Warden Clemente told the relatives
that prison officials already have Bureau of Jail Management and Penology
(BJMP) doctors monitoring the detainees, so doctors from Council for Health
and Development (CHD) and Community Medicine Foundation (COMMED), health
groups supporting the detained healthworkers, are not needed to check the
detainees’ conditions anymore.
“Warden Clemente’s excuse that they already have doctors monitoring the
conditions of the detainees on hunger strike is an outright lie, specially
since, on the second day, an inmate was brought to my wife, Dr. Merry Mia
Clamor, for check-up!” he deplored.
Jane Beltran Balleta, a member of the Morong 43 and who is fasting, had
already suffered an epileptic seizure yesterday.
“The detainees have a right to be attended to by doctors of their own
choice,” Clamor said. “And Warden Clemente must allow the detainees to
exercise this right even if they are on hunger strike.”
Karapatan also denounced the imposed stricter visitation policies on the
women detainees. On Saturday, the women detainees were not allowed to be
visited as a group, instead they were only called one by one.
The Morong 43 detainees at Camp Bagong Diwa, Bicutan Taguig, went on hunger
strike and fasting since December 3, to protest their continued illegal
arrest, detention, torture and ill-treatment. Karapatan, and other local and
international civil society groups, including the leaders of the World
Council of Churches, support the calls for the freedom of the 43 health
“We reiterate our call, together with Senator Joker Arroyo, Rep. Erin Tanada
and partylist representatives, international as well as local groups and
civil society organizations, to the President and to Justice Secretary Leila
De Lima, to release the Morong 43 immediately, as a way to correct a most
grievous violation of their rights as human beings and as citizens of this
country,” Clamor added. “In fact, the present administration must review
the cases of the 371 political prisoners all over the country who must also
be released; detaining people for their political beliefs must not be
resorted to by a government which calls itself “democratic,” Clamor
PUBLIC INFORMATION DESK
Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights
2nd Flr. Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin corner Matatag Sts., Central District
Diliman, Quezon City, PHILIPPINES 1101
Telefax: (+63 2) 4354146
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. It was established in 1995.