02 March 2010
Three of the 43 illegally detained health workers were reportedly taken from their detention cells in Camp Capinpin, Tanay, Rizal on the wee hours of March 1, sent back to their cells in the morning and taken out of their cells again at 2 pm of the same day, that time together with their belongings.
Neither the relatives nor lawyers of health workers Ellen Carandang, Cherrielyn Tawagon and Valentin Paulino were informed that the three and their belongings will be transferred to another detention facility, and their present whereabouts are still unknown, as of this writing.
Karapatan chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez expressed concern for the safety of Carandang, Tawagon and Valentino. “The swiftness and secrecy in ‘transferring’ the three victims show that the military is set on further violating the laws and the rights of the detained health workers to ensure that the victims will not have access to their relatives and legal counsel of their choice. While detained by the military, the victims are being tortured to implicate themselves. This practice must stop,” Hilao-Enriquez said.
Hilao-Enriquez demands that the whereabouts of Carandang, Tawagon and Paulino be disclosed so that the relatives and lawyers can visit them and ensure their safety and they be brought back to where they are with the others. This incident is one of the reasons why all of the 43 health workers must be transferred to a regular detention facility, as stipulated by law, while waiting for the court decision on their release.
Karapatan reiterates that the health workers must be immediately freed, and while waiting for their eventual release, must be transferred to a regular detention facility. “The arrest of the 43 health workers is unjust. The AFP must stop further violating their rights and show to the people that they respect the detainees’ rights and not only mouth motherhood statements on human rights while committing torture and grievous violations of the rights of the people. The AFP has been mounting a malicious vilification campaign against our organization because we continuously expose their human rights violations as evidenced by what they are doing to the 43 health workers! They have been preventing us from visiting the detainees, in complete violation of the law and our work as human rights organization,” concludes Hilao-Enriquez.
Marie Hilao-Enriquez, Karapatan Chairperson