Statement of the People’s Health Movement-Southeast Asia on the Morong 43

Dec 9, 2010

Manila, Philippines — The People’s Health Movement (PHM), a global network bringing together grassroots activists, civil society organizations, academics and health workers from around the world, reiterates our strong condemnation of the illegal arrest and continued detention of 43 community health workers and doctors in the Philippines who continue to unjustly languish in jail since February 6, 2010.

The health workers who were conducting health skills training to enhance their health interventions in poorly resourced rural areas, but were illegally arrested, detained, and tortured continue to be victims of human rights violations. Their arrest is not just an attack on their persons but more so, is an attack on the right to health of the poor. Their continued unjust detention has deprived millions of poor people the health services that these health workers have long been giving them.

To call the attention of President Noynoy Aquino to their innocence vis a vis the charges levied against them and the urgent need for their release, these so called Morong 43 Health workers have staged a hunger strike in pursuit of justice.

The PHM supports the hunger strike of the Morong 43 and is in solidarity with them in their continuing fight for justice! We call on justice, freedom and peace loving citizens of the Philippines to do the same.

The PHM calls on the Philippine President Benigno C. Aquino III to immediately and unconditionally release the Morong 43 and dismiss all charges filed against them NOW! Just as he supported the call for Burmese Aung San Suu Kyii’s immediate release as well as amnesty for the soldiers who were involved in coup d’etat attempts in the Philippines, we urge him to order the immediate and unconditional release of the Morong 43.

Indeed, justice delayed is justice denied!

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