August 19,2010: SELDA CONDEMNS TRANSFER OF NEWBORN AND DETAINED MOTHER TO JAIL; CALLS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF MOTHER AND CHILD

The Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Para sa Amnestiya (SELDA), an organization of former and current political prisoners, today slammed the recent transfer of Carina “Judilyn” Oliveros, one of the political prisoners collectively known as the Morong 43, and her 3-weeks old baby from the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) to the Women’s Sector Metro Manila District Jail – SICA Compound facility in Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig.

“We strongly protest the transfer of Oliveros and baby because conditions in the detention facility are not all good for both baby and nursing mother. We appeal to the Pres. Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino for their immediate release on recognizance for humanitarian reasons,” Fr. Dionito Cabillas, SELDA National Secretariat, said.

Cabillas said mother and child are currently detained at a cell inside the MMDJ-SICA Compound, where it is crowded and damp. Oliveros and baby are highly susceptible to diseases borne out of such jail conditions, he added.

Oliveros and her child were transferred to Camp Bagong Diwa yesterday upon the issuance of a court order by Judge Gina Cenit-Escoto of Branch 78, Regional Trial Court in Morong Rizal after denying Oliveros’ Motion for Release on Recognizance for humanitarian reasons, citing the non-existence of basis that the release may be granted.  The order was granted despite the withdrawal of the initial objection of state prosecutors for the said motion to release.

“This manifests the graver injustices experienced by Oliveros and child, as well as the rest of the Morong 43, who are victims of illegal arrests, torture and detention. Justice remains elusive for the doctors and community based health workers, even pregnant and nursing mothers like Oliveros. Such is the deplorable state of the more than 400 political prisoners in the country, many of them were illegally arrested and imprisoned under the Macapagal-Arroyo administration,” Cabillas further said.

SELDA also expressed support for the noise barrage conducted by the Morong 43 today in Camp Bagong Diwa in protest of the transfer and continued detention of Oliveros and baby.

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