Sunday, December 3, 2023

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Lawyers, doctors, nurses, and health workers march for Morong 43 freedom

Nearly ten months into unjust incarceration, lawyers, health professionals and health workers march to highlight their call to free the 43 health workers.  From the illegal arrest and continued detention of the Morong 43, the medical and legal professions have been at the helm of the efforts to free the 43 health workers.

“The medical and legal community calls for the withdrawal of all cases filed against the health workers,” Dr. Julie Caguiat, spokesperson of the alliance said.

While President Aquino keeps on claiming a commitment on human rights and moves away from the dark shadows of the Arroyo regime, since it assumed office, it has only resorted up to this to sheer sloganeering on human rights and an evasive stance on the Morong 43.

According to Dr. Caguiat, “how can President Aquino be so callous by insisting on a trial of the health workers and still has not moved to withdraw the charges against the health workers when he himself already confirmed the blatant defects of the arrest which by principle should not merit a judicial review.”

By these pronouncements of the Aquino administration, it virtually sanctions the military’s sinister and illegal behavior within its counter-insurgency program.

“We believe that it is among the salient duties of the government to protect its citizens from injustices especially from the abuses of the state.  However, Aquino is making himself complicit of the past administration’s atrocities by refusing to perform his moral obligations to uphold human rights and enforce the rule of law and heeding only to the arbitrary ways of the military.”

The alliance also said that it is unfortunate that Aquino has the mettle to call for the release of Aung Sang Su Kyi while the rest of the world still has to remind the Philippine government of the urgency of addressing the injustices here in the country.

The group underscored that the continued detention of the Morong 43 portends more days of injustices and violations of human rights and affronts of civil liberties.  Caguiat said “we fear that there will be more similar cases of illegal arrest and detention if the government will not make the correct political stand.”

Among the medical and legal groups who participated in the march included the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, National Union of Peoples Lawyers, International Association of Progressive Lawyers, International Association of Democratic Lawyers, Philippine Nurses Association, Free the 43 Health Workers! Alliance and representatives from various medical and legal schools. (Reference: Julie P. Caguiat, M.D. – 0909.1133038 / (+632) 929.8109)

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