Regardless of Political Belief
Asked by a journalist if the health workers were teaching NPA members, Dr. Castro said that doctors do not discriminate against patients based on political belief . “If military doctors teach health training to the soldiers, is that illegal?” he asked.
Dr. Melecia Velmonte, owner of the farmhouse in Morong, Rizal (Photo by Fred Dabu / bulatlat.com)
“We do not teach our students to ask their patients of they are subversive before treating them,” Dr. Gonzaga, of the Philippine Medical Colleges, added.
Dr. June Pagaduan-Lopez, professor of psychiatry at the UP College of Medicine, also criticized the military for not allowing her and her colleagues to visit the detainees at Camp Capinpin last Saturday. She said they wanted to do a psychiatric examination of the victims of torture.
Prof. Teresita Barcelo, national president of Philippine Nurses Association (PNA), called on the Department of Health (DOH) to assert its civilian authority and demand the release of 43 health workers.
Barcelona also called on the AFP to surface the detained health workers to court.
Dr. Roxas, meanwhile, called on the military to stop the harassment of health workers, especially community-based health professionals who have committed their lives to service.
Guinto urged the Arroyo government to take immediate action in making accountable the military and police forces behind the arrest, detention and torture of the 43 health workers.
Dr. Jara, of CHD said the incident is part of the government’s counter-insurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya. “If they can do this to the health workers, they can do this to anybody else,” she said.
A campaign network to free the 43 health workers was established at the Nurses’ Home of the Philippine General Hospital this morning. (Bulatlat.com)