April 10, 2010
Free the 43 Health Workers Now! Alliance condemns both the AFP and the PNP for their failure to facilitate the transfer of the 38 out of the Morong 43 despite clear instructions of the court order issued by the Morong Regional Trial Court.
According to Dr. Julie Caguiat, one of the spokespersons of the alliance, “after 2 long grueling months, this failure to comply with such basic issue of police detention as the lawful detention for the arrested health workers merely shows the irregularities, insincerity and incompetence of the state forces in handling the whole case.”
The detainees were brought to Camp Crame yesterday only to be volleyed back to Camp Capinpin 30 minutes later.
“It’s another flagrant propaganda act for the military because its only concern was to make a good deal of a show to appear that they conscientiously complied with the court order, after it already coerced five detainees as its showcase.”
“Why only now? In fact, lawyers of the Morong 43 have long petitioned the transfer to Crame in the higher court,” Dr. Caguiat lamented.
The military never acquiesced to any legal order and has a penchant for violating almost everything legal and acceptable.
Meanwhile, the alliance finds it unsettling that PNP cannot comply with the order just so because they don’t have enough space in the PNP Custodial Center to house any new batch of detainees. “Strange that a camp as big as Crame with its 33 hectares cannot even house 38 more individuals”, says Dr.Caguiat.
The group believes that the issue of “custody” goes back to the rift between the police and army on who’s taking full responsibility over the illegal arrest. Obviously, they have since been passing the buck on each other to evade the greater weight of accountability in the ensuing legal obligations and public criticism in this very controversial case.
Caguiat poses, “If the PNP doesn’t have enough space for detention and the AFP is trying to take a hands-off, the heath workers should be sent back where they truly belong — their homes and the communities they serve.”
Caguiat revealed that the obtuse logic being offered by AFP and PNP over the failed transfer only angered all the more relatives and supporters of the detainees who have since been in great anguish.
The group is also preparing for the second round of the investigative hearing by the Commission of Human Rights set on Monday, April 12.
Dr. Julie Caguiat
Spokesperson, Free the 43 Health Workers Now!