10 April 2010
The botched transfer of the 38 illegally detained health workers to Camp Crame yesterday again highlighted the cavalier attitude of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Health Alliance for Democracy today strongly denounced the failure of the AFP to coordinate with officials of the Philippine National Police to ensure a proper transfer of custody.
“The AFP is engaging in a charade of complying with court orders, when in fact it is doing the exact opposite,” said Dr. Geneve Rivera, HEAD secretary-general. “The military authorities want to appear as though they are now abiding by the rules even though they are merely going through the motions.”
“In truth, they remain consistent in their insincerity and defiance of due process!”
The health group believes that the AFP has undermined the transfer by coordinating more with media than with their counterparts in the PNP or with the relatives and the legal counsel of the 43.
“Insolence, insincerity, and incompetence – these are the hallmarks of the AFP’s handling of the Morong 43 from the outset. But rather than be fooled, the people, especially the relatives, are outraged!” added Dr. Rivera.
HEAD also scored the PNP officials for refusing to fulfill their custodial duties.
“Administrative considerations should not be used as a lame excuse for refusing to take the 43 into their custody.”
“For the two biggest armed institutions of the state to claim that they do not have sufficient logistics for the 43 is the height of absurdity! The health workers have suffered enough. They should not suffer more because of the finger-pointing and buck-passing between the AFP and PNP.”
The health group reiterated the call for the immediate release of the 43.
“If neither the AFP nor the PNP want them, then releasse the 43!” concluded Dr. Rivera. ###
Dr. Geneve E. Rivera, Secretary-General, HEAD
Dr. Darby S. Santiago, Chairman, HEAD