Ex-political detainees, kin launch picket protest

FORMER political detainees, relatives, and supporters of political prisoners on Tuesday held another picket protest this time at Camp Crame on the second day of their fast to call for the immediate release of 385 political prisoners detained nationwide.

Members of Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (Selda), Hustisya, Karapatan and other people’s organizations trooped to Camp Crame, where some political prisoners are currently detained (Renante Gamara, Eduardo Serrano and Eduardo Sarmiento).

“We were deprived of our rights when we exposed the anomalies and ill treatment of staffs of BJMP, PNP and LGU’s to other prisoners especially Muslim prisoners,” Political prisoners  in Camp Crame,  Renante Gamara, Eduardo Serrano and Eduardo Sarmiento said in a statement as they join the Nationally Coordinated Fasting of political prisoners in various jails all over the country.

In the said statement, they condemned the military guards’ ill treatment to their fellow political prisoner Tirso Alcantara in Fort Bonifacio. “He is being poisoned in small doses,” said the three. They also condemned the transferring of Ramon Patriarca to a military detention after he successfully organized a protest to increase food allowances of prisoners in Cebu Provincial Jail.

Selda secretary general Angie Ipong urged President Benigno Aquino III to grant an immediate, general, unconditional and omnibus amnesty to free all political prisoners in the country.

“We find no reason why the government is waiting for when clearly all the political prisoners especially the sick, the elderly, those in jail too long, and those covered by the JASIG should have been released earlier,” Ipong said.

Political prisoners in different detention centers in the country – Calbayog Sub-Provincial Jail, Compostela Valley Provincial Jail, Central Command, Lahug, Cebu,  Misamis  Oriental, Panay, Cebu, Calbayog, Davao City, are currently until PNoy’s delivers his SONA.

Selda said that of the 385 political prisoners, 107 are arbitrary arrested and detained under the PNoy’s administration. “PNoy just continued GMA’s Oplan Bantay Laya tactics under the new Oplan Bayanihan to file trumped-up charges against political activists because the government wanted to quell dissent.” Ipong added.

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