April 11, 2010
In a press statement issued today during the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) hearing on the case of the Morong 43, the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) again condemned the further detention of the 43 health workers and their aborted transfer to Camp Crame last Friday.
“The PNP and the AFP are concocting all the possible alibis and excuses in order to prevent the transfer of the illegally detained health workers to Camp Crame. The aborted transfer appears to be poorly scripted and betrays the ludicrous inefficiency of the two largest armed organizations in the country,” NUPL Acting Secretary General Atty. Edre U. Olalia said in the statement.
“Their blatant disregard of the court order directing the transfer to the PNP facility is contemptuous. Neither the AFP nor the PNP would want to take primary responsibility for the bungled operation that happened when the health workers were abducted. Now neither wants to take responsibility for the indefensible continued detention, ” NUPL Spokeperson Julius Matibag added.
Olalia further added that there is no valid legal basis for the Morong 43’s detention in a military camp and the PNP has no cogent basis whatsoever to refuse custody of them.
“Their continued detention in the military camp would subject these innocent health workers to further physical and psychological torture and pressure to force them to speak and act under duress,” Olalia stated.
The NUPL likewise warned the police and military not to undermine the powers of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), an independent constitutional body, and to obey the latter’s directive that the 43 health workers be physically presented in the CHR hearing today. .
“If the CHR order to present the health workers today is again disobeyed by the AFP, we will, without hesitation, move for the exercise of the contempt powers of the Commission” Olalia and Matibag concluded.
Atty. Edre U. Olalia, NUPL Acting Secretary-General
Atty. Julius Matibag, NUPL Spokeperson