Political prisoner in Cebu begins indefinite hunger strike today

CEBU CITY – A political prisoner began his indefinite hunger strike on June 1 in protest of his detention at Camp Lapu-Lapu in Cebu City, four months after a court decision directing the Cebu Provincial and Detention Center to allow his stay in the civilian detention facility.

Ramon Patriarca, a consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) charged with rebellion and formerly detained at Danao City Jail was transferred to the Cebu Provincial Detention Reformatory Center (CPDRC).

“Bending the rules of court- this is how former political detainees described the transfer of Patriarca to the AFP Central Command, Camp Lapu-lapu in Cebu City,” Angelina Ipong,SELDA secretary general said.

Patriarca, who has been imprisoned for more than three years now, lamented in a letter how he does not deserve to be detained at Camp Lapu-Lapu.

“I do not deserve to be detained at Camp Lapu-lapu.  Among other reasons, this was where I was first brought after I was abducted more than three years ago, where I was subjected to torture and human rights violations before I was finally turned over to the Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO),” Patriarca’s letter stated.

To show their sympathy in Patriarca’s demands and call for the release of all political prisoners, 18 if his former co-detainees, one of which is a political prisoner at Danao City Jail will also make a sympathy fast on June 9-11 in support of Patriarca, just before the nation commemorates “Araw ng Kalayaan.”

“This is their way of supporting his legitimate demands, and also their way of thanking their former elected over-all leader in jail whom they trusted so much especially because he instituted many commendable changes in jail especially the Alternative Learning School where everyone who attended was able to graduate and many passed the exams,” SELDA secretary general Angelina Ipong said.

The group said it will continue the call for Ramon Patriarca’s immediate release and the release of all political prisoners in the country through a general, unconditional and omnibus amnesty.

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