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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Nicanor Perlas and PANGMASA’s Official Statement on Morong 43

 free-the-43Practice of Medicine and Treatment of the Sick Knows No Ideologies.  Free the Morong 43 Now!

The continuous detention of the Morong 43 composed of doctors, a nurse, a midwife and health volunteers despite the absence of official charges for more than a week is a clear violation of human rights. 

The military’s ignorance of the Supreme Court’s order for the “Writ of Habeas Corpus” is an act that deserves the highest condemnation.  In a 17-page writ of habeas petition, the relatives of the health workers and members of the Community Medicine Development asked the High Court to order the military to produce all the 43 health workers and order their immediate release but they were never presented in court until Monday, February 15.  This is a clear violation of the basic rights protected in our Constitution.

The Morong 43, arrested in a joint police and military raid in a rest house in Morong, Rizal, on Feb. 6 while they were conducting health training, shows the need for the professionalization of the police and the military.  Professionalization can be done by means of adequate incentive systems that reward moral and exemplary conduct, and punish violations of law and order.  The military and police personnel must respect and uphold human rights at all times.

We uphold the fact that the practice of medicine and medical attention should be given to all regardless of their political ideologies.  The members of the medical profession should not be subjected to any harm or danger in the performance of their official functions as embodied in the Geneva Convention.

We, therefore, call on AFP chief Gen. Victor Ibrado and PNP chief Director General Jesus Versoza to immediately order the release of the Morong 43.  And if the rights of these workers were, in any way, violated, those responsible should be held accountable.

The current insurgency problem in the Philippines cannot be solved by mere suppression of those involved in the insurgency, or by showing force and ruthlessness.  This problem can only be solved by addressing the root causes of the problem which include poverty and the inequitable distribution of resources.

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