The Free the 43 Health Workers Now! alliance challenged a lower court’s resolve in implementing its April 7 order to transfer the 38 health workers from camp Capinpin in Rizal to Camp Crame in Quezon City.
The Regional Trial Court in Morong should not tolerate the Philippine National Police’s excuses about the unavailability of detention facilities in their compound, said Dr. Julie Caguiat, spokesperson of the alliance. “It is not for the PNP to decide whether to take in the detainees or not. They should make necessary adjustments, even if only temporary, to carry out the Morong RTC’s order,” the doctor added.
If the RTC Morong is indeed as independent as the public expects it to be, it should not be fazed nor influenced by the lame excuses of the Philippine National Police which undermines the legal institution itself,” said Dr. Caguiat.
The group worries that this “could also set a pernicious influence in the future on the way the PNP can just deny court orders.”
The group asserts the illegality of the arrest in a case before the Court of Appeals, underscoring an evident logic: “It is a civilian case being tried by a civilian court, thus the detainees should be placed only under a civilian detention — unless the government has been rearing a Guantanamo-like operations of military camps.”
The PNP and AFP have been trying to renege on their responsibility on the Morong 43 especially since many irregularities are now being exposed to the public, said Dr. Caguiat.
Following a “bungled” transfer of the detained health workers from Camp Capinpin where they have been incarcerated since their arrest in February 6, their supporters have been conducting protests to press the government to make good on the court’s order.
Yesterday the alliance held a noise barrage in front of the Santolan gates of Camp Crame in Quezon City. Families of the detainees, health professionals and health workers as well as various supporters from different regions joined the noise barrage. They promised to continue pounding on Camp Crame’s gates until the 43 are transferred in their civilian detention facilities.”