Greetings of solidarity!
We are inviting you to be a part of our recent project to highlight the campaign to free all political prisoners in the country.
The project is dubbed “Kakausa: Solidarity visits to political prisoners in the Philippines” and will commence on October 25, Friday (in time for the National Correctional Consciousness Week), at the Custodial Center of Camp Crame in Quezon City. Attached with this letter is the concept paper and invitational poster for the activity.
We are also encouraging everyone, especially those who will are not available on the scheduled visit, to help contribute or acquire donations of art materials and/or musical instruments/accessories for use of political prisoners.
Do contact us for any questions and clarifications via firstname.lastname@example.org or (02)4354146.
Let us join hands in the campaign for justice and human rights in the call to Free all Political Prisoners.
POLITICAL PRISONERS ALL OVER THE COUNTRY HOLD HUNGER STRIKES, SOLIDARITY FASTS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF MORONG 43 AND ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS
December 7, 2010
For reference: FR. DIONITO CABILLAS, Secretary General, SELDA (09175965859)
The Samahan ng mga Ex-detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA), an organization of former political prisoners in the country, today announced the solidarity protests conducted in jails and detention centers all over the country for the immediate release of the Morong 43 and all 371 political prisoners.
Fr. Dionito Cabillas, SELDA Secretary General and a convenor of the Free the 43 Health Workers Alliance, said ninety nine (99) political prisoners conducted and have continuing solidarity actions with the illegally arrested and detained health workers.
Five of them are on hunger strike in detentions centers in Cagayan Valley and Metro Manila, while the rest are on solidarity fasting, including National Democratic Front consultants Ed Serrano and Ed Sarmiento and Sandino Esguerra who have been detained for eleven years now. The solidarity actions, which were conducted starting December 3, include hunger strikes, fasting, mass, rallies and programs inside the detention facilities participated in by political prisoners and other inmates. (Please see attached matrix of political prisoners who are participating in the solidarity actions)
“We salute the Morong 43 and all political prisoners in the Philippines in their hunger strike which started on December 3, 2010. The hunger strike and solidarity actions are strong political statements of strength and unity amid efforts of the Aquino government to impede the release of the Morong 43 and all political prisoners in the country. Thus, the hunger strike of the Morong 43 and the solidarity fast of political prisoners are not only legitimate, these actions are most justified. Pres. Aquino should immediately release the Morong 43 and all political prisoners now,” Cabillas said.
According to SELDA and Karapatan, there were 2, 059 victims of illegal arrest under the Arroyo government, 579 of them are human rights defenders. 333 of them are women and 112 of them are minors at the time of their arrest. Among these victims are the Morong 43. While Pres. Aquino has called their arrest and the warrant used for their arrest as “fruits of the poisonous tree,” he has not pursued the withdrawal of charges against them and their unconditional release because of his apparent amiable relations with the so-called “security sector” of the state, which includes the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the National Security Council. In the first four months of the new Aquino government, there are already thirteen (13) political prisoners, among the 23 victims of illegal arrest and detention. Sixteen out of the 23 were victims of torture.
“SELDA attributes this directly to Aquino’s continued implementation of the Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL), Arroyo’s former counter-insurgency policy which has spawned the extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, illegal arrests and trumped up charges against activists and supporters. Aquino’s upcoming counter-insurgency policy can only result to more victims of illegal arrests and arbitrary detention, EJKs, enforced disappearances and thousands of more human rights violations,” he ended.
Morong 43’s Hunger Strike is not only legitimate, it is most just; Free all political prisoners – SELDA
December 4, 2010
For reference: FR. DIONITO CABILLAS, Secretary General, SELDA
On the International Day of Solidarity for Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War
The Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA), an organization of former political prisoners in the Philippines, is one with the Morong 43 and all 371 political prisoners in the country in calling for their immediate and unconditional release from detention. As human rights organizations and peoples all over the world commemorate on December 3 the International Day of Solidarity for Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War of the International League of Peoples’ Struggles, we are one in condemning the continuing policies and practice of torture, criminalization of the exercise of political beliefs and arbitrary detention of political prisoners and prisoners of war all over the world.
We salute the Morong 43 and all political prisoners in the Philippines in their hunger strike which started on December 3, 2010. The hunger strike is a strong political statement of strength and unity amid efforts of the Aquino government to impede the release of the Morong 43 and all political prisoners in the country. There were 2, 059 victims of illegal arrest under the Arroyo government, 579 of them are human rights defenders. 333 of them are women and 112 of them are minors at the time of their arrest. Among these victims are the Morong 43, the forty health workers who are on their 10th month of detention. While Pres. Aquino has called their arrest and the warrant used for their arrest as “fruits of the poisonous tree,” he has not pursued the withdrawal of charges against them and their unconditional release because of his apparent amiable relations with the so-called “security sector” of the state, which includes the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the National Security Council. Thus, the hunger strike of the Morong 43 is not only legitimate, it is most just. We likewise call for the immediate release of political prisoners such as peace advocate Angelina Ipong, National Democratic Front consultants Ed Sarmiento and Ed Serrano, and Sandino Esguerra, all have languished in jails for more than five years now.
In the first four months of the new Aquino government, there are already thirteen (13) political prisoners, among the 23 victims of illegal arrest and detention. Sixteen out of the 23 were victims of torture. SELDA attributes this directly to Aquino’s continued implementation of the Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL), Arroyo’s former counter-insurgency policy which has spawned the extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, illegal arrests and trumped up charges against activists and supporters. While Aquino’s new counter-insurgency program will still be enforced the next year, we see this as the same terror blueprint, with loads of deceptive programs included. A counter-insurgency policy patterned after the United States Counter Insurgency Guide of 2009 can only result to more victims of illegal arrests and arbitrary detention, EJKs, enforced disappearances and thousands of more human rights violations. It is thus no wonder that the climate of impunity continues.
The US counter-insurgency policies have been consistently drafted and implemented by puppet states of the US all over the world to crush legitimate political dissent in their countries, especially those that seek the halt of US plunder and intervention on its neocolonial states. These have been consistently implemented to promote aggression against national liberation movements of peoples all over the world. These have been consistently implemented to silence and put behind bars those who strive to work for genuine peace, social justice and freedom.
SELDA stands in solidarity with the political prisoners, their families and supporters and peoples of the world against these forms of political repression, fascism and aggression. We demand the immediate and unconditional release of the Morong 43 and all political prisoners in the Philippines and the world. We call for justice for all victims of human rights violations and state impunity.
1 December 2010
DAVAO CITY – Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) – Southern Mindanao Region urged today the Aquino administration to immediately and unconditionally release all political prisoners.
In a press conference, SELDA’s regional secretary-general Fe Salino said, “We dare P-Noy to be true to his campaign slogan of forging the so-called “daang matuwid” by releasing the 369 political prisoners in the country. These are men and women activists, fighters, and ordinary advocates who are currently detained, incarcerated for their political beliefs and languishing like ordinary criminals in different congested jails all over the country.”
Among the 369 are the 43 detained health workers who were illegally arrested in Morong, Rizal, 58 women detainees, and 11 of whom are consultants of the National Democratic Front (NDF).
Under the Aquino administration, 12 civilians, mostly leaders of progressive organizations were illegally arrested recently.
“Here in southern Mindanao, we have 23 political prisoners including Zaldy Caňete, a rebel leader who continues to languish in jail even if he has a very poor health condition,” Salino added.
“Canete’s health continues to deteriorate due to deprivation of appropriate medical treatment and congested prison facility in Compostela Valley Provincial Jail,” she said.
“While the Aquino administration could quickly grant amnesty to the Magdalo soldiers, we have several detainees who languish in jail. Most of them are elderly and suffering from poor health conditions like Angie Ipong, the 65-year-old NDFP consultant who was illegally arrested, tortured and detained in Misamis Occidental,” Salino lamented.
“And we note, too, the continued detention of Morong 43, two of them are mothers who recently gave birth under detention. What kind of “daang matuwid” would deprive women and their children with appropriate treatment? They should be released immediately,” she said.
“In solidarity with the political prisoners and their respective families, we are urging the Aquino government to follow the legacy of her mother, then president Cory Aquino who unconditionally released all the political prisoners two months after she was catapulted to power through Edsa 1,” Salino added.
“What is taking PNoy so long to grant our legitimate demand?” she asked.
Salino also expressed alarm on the increasing number of activists and human rights defenders who are extra-judicially killed, abducted, illegally arrested, detained, tortured and harassed under under Aquino administration.
“It seems like Aquino government failed to curb the culture of impunity because the perpetrators–former President Arroyo, retired-Major General and known “berdugo” Jovito Palparan and their fascist cohorts in the Armed Forces of the Philippines–remain scot-free,” she said.
Together with the political prisoners, their families, and fellow human rights groups, SELDA will conduct a solidarity protest in Compostela Valley Provincial Rehabilitation Center, Tagum City on December 3 (Friday).
Led by SELDA-National, the group will register their legitimate demand and campaign to free the political prisoners and to junk all fabricated charges against human rights defenders.
The activity is part of the nationwide commemoration of the 7th International Day of Solidarity for Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War. In 2003, the International League of People’s Struggle (ILPS) declared December 3 as a day to express solidarity with the political prisoners and prisoners of war and their families.#
Contact No. 09215308597
FORMER POLITICAL PRISONER TO ATTEND INTL CONFAB ON TORTURE AND ARBITRARY DETENTION IN TURKEY, TO CALL FOR SUPPORT FOR THE RELEASE OF THE MORONG 43 AND ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS
26 November 2010
Reference: Fr. Dionito Cabillas, SELDA Secretary General
Axel Pinpin (email: email@example.com)
Axel Pinpin, writer and former political prisoner, leaves today to attend an international symposium on torture and arbitrary detention and isolation in Istanbul, Turkey which will be held on November 27-29, 2010. He will be representing the Samahan ng Ex-detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) as one of its members in the said international event.
Pinpin, also currently the Secretary General of the Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (KASAMA-TK), was among the political prisoners known collectively as the Tagaytay 5. Pinpin and his companions were on their way to Manila when they were abducted by a Navy-PNP composite team in Tagaytay City on April 28, 2006.
After a few days, they were all presented to the media as “communist rebels” involved in a “destabilization plot” against the Arroyo government. They were tortured and held incommunicado from relatives, lawyers and friends for several days. They were eventually released in 2008, after the local court dismissed charges against them.
“Our participation in the symposium in Turkey is an expression of solidarity with all political prisoners and human rights advocates against torture, arbitrary arrests and detention. The plight of political prisoners, who were imprisoned because they were seen as ‘enemies of the states,’ ‘terrorists’ or ‘dangerous dissenters’ is an issue that should be seen in the light of the continuing wars of aggression being launched by imperialist governments such as the United States (US). Legitimate acts of protests and dissent are being criminalized and the right of the people to organize and mobilize as part of their democratic movements are being curtailed and silenced through torture and imprisonment,” Pinpin said.
Pinpin will give testimonies on his own experience while in prison and on the campaign launched by human rights organizations and people’s organizations for their release. He will likewise highlight the plight of the Morong 43, the forty three health workers who were illegally arrested, tortured and are on their tenth month of detention this December.
“We hope this engagement with former political prisoners, lawyers, doctors and human rights organizations in Turkey will contribute more to the heightened clamor for the release of the Morong 43. Recently, four activists in the Bicol Region were illegally arrested and detained, ala-Morong 43. As long as this practice and the counter-insurgency program of the new Aquino administration remains no different from the Arroyo government, the attacks on the political and civil rights of the Filipino people will continue,” Pinpin said.
While in Turkey, the former political prisoner will also meet with members of the Filipino community and Turkish organizations in Istanbul and will likewise commemorate the International Day of Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War in Istanbul on December 3, 2010.