Transfer of detainee, newborn ‘inhumane’

THE militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) yesterday denounced what it described as the “inhumane” transfer of political detainee Judilyn Oliveros and her three-week-old son from the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) to the police’s Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig City.

Bayan also said Oliveros and her son’s transfer underscores the need for the government to review the cases filed against the “Morong 43.”

Oliveros was led out of the Philippine General Hospital on a wheelchair and in handcuffs. She was not able to carry her baby on the trip during the transfer.

Oliveros is one of the health workers collectively known as the “Morong 43” who were arrested last Feb. 6 on the basis of a defective warrant while allegedly holding a Community First Responders’ Health Training in Morong, Rizal.

They were detained at the military’s Camp Mateo Capinpin in Tanay, Rizal, where they were subjected to inquest proceedings without counsel.

They face charges of illegal possession of firearms, illegal possession of explosives, and violation of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) gun ban.

Several of them reported of being tortured while at Camp Capinpin. They were transferred to Camp Bagong Diwa on May 1.

Oliveros, a first-time mother, gave birth by Caesarian section at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) on July 22. She had been nursing her son in a room there under guard.

It is not known whether the Bureau of Jail management and Penology (BJMP) has set up facilities for Oliveros and her son at Camp Bagong Diwa.

The lawyers of the “Morong 43,” led by Romeo Capulong of the Public Interest Law Center (PILC) and the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL), have filed a petition for Oliveros’s release on recognizance to allow her to breastfeed her son for at least six months.

State Prosecutor II Romeo Senson, the same prosecutor who subjected the 43 health workers to “inquest,” had filed a motion to oppose the petition, but Justice Secretary Leila de Lima expressed support for the non-separation of Oliveros from her son.

Morong Regional Trial Court Judge Gina Escoto, however, denied the petition of Oliveros’s lawyers.  D’Jay Lazaro


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