Labor group urges Aquino to withdraw the cases vs the Morong 43 to uphold human rights
WITHDRAWING the cases filed against the illegally detained 43 health workers, collectively known as the Morong 43, is the easiest step that President Benigno Aquino III can take to really uphold human rights in the country today.
The labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno (May First Movement) issued the statement as the world celebrates International Human Rights Day today.
“Freeing the Morong 43 is the easiest move for Aquino not only because it only requires him to order cases to be withdrawn, but more importantly because the reasons for the Morong 43’s immediate and unconditional release are clear, solid and already known to the world,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.
“When the president, himself not an avid advocate of the Morong 43’s release, conceded that the warrant used for their arrest is defective and that incorrectly acquired evidence on the case cannot be used, nobody dared contest his statements. That’s a clear indication of the public’s acceptance of the Morong 43’s release, which makes it very easy for Aquino to act now and release them from detention,” Labog added.
Jail Arroyo, free the Morong 43
KMU also criticized Pres. Aquino for failing to show resolve in going after former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo while also failing to act for the release of the Morong 43.
It said the Aquino regime has failed to maximize other avenues to seek justice for the former president’s grave and numerous crimes against the Filipino people – such as pursuing the NBN-ZTE case in the Department of Justice, investigating cases of human rights violations through the DOJ, and impeaching pro-Arroyo Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez through Congress.
“There’s this principle which legal scholars love to quote, that it is better to set free those guilty for a crime than to imprison those who are innocent. On the one hand, this regime has failed to pursue charges against Arroyo, whom many people believe is guilty of crimes against the people. On the other hand, it has failed to set free the Morong 43, whom many people believe are innocent of the charges filed against them,” Labog said.
“A regime which does not act swiftly to correct this injustice and uphold basic human rights will surely reap the anger and protests of the Filipino workers and people,” Labog said.