MANILA – After 16 years of separation, political prisoner Moreta Alegre has finally seen her husband Jesus – only that he is already in a coffin.
Kapatid, a support group of families and friends of political prisoners, has appealed to the Department of Justice to allow Moreta and their son Selman to see Jesus for the last time.
Jesus died of an illness last June 13, Sunday. He is 75 years old.
He, Moreta and Selman are farmers wrongfully convicted of murder in 2005. The case was used in order to remove them from the land that they were tilling, which they refused to sell to a person who attempted to grab it from their family.
Groups demanded justice for the death of Jesus.
Women peasant group Amihan said that an investigation must be conducted into the circumstances of neglect surrounding the political prisoner’s death.
“He was not only a senior citizen but (he was) gravely sick long before he died. The repeated call for his and his wife Moreta’s immediate release based on humanitarian grounds along with other elderly and sick political prisoners was also ignored,” Zenaida Soriano, Amihan chairperson said.
For Karapatan, heads must roll on Jesus’s death.
“What kind of system allows the elderly to succumb to death, languish behind bars, and be made to pay for crimes that were clearly trumped-up and were only meant to silence them for speaking out against an injustice they fought against?” Cristina Palabay said in a statement.
Palabay added that the government cannot deny the fact that Jesus grew very sick due to the long years in detention.
“Jesus Alegre was in jail under three presidents, and the Duterte regime had all the chances to correct this injustice, but chose to ignore it altogether,” Palabay said.
Today, June 18, the remains of Jesus was brought to the Iglesia Filipina Independiente National Cathedral in Manila before it will be flown to his hometown in Sagay, Negros Occidental.