By MACARIO “Ka. Karyo” LIWANAG
Spokesperson, NAAC NPA-Rizal
The NPA-Rizal condemns the continuous violation of human rights of the Morong 43 health workers. The physical and psychological torture and sexual harassment from sex starved Armed Forces of the Philippines personnel that the 2nd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army inflicts on the health workers is deplorable. The scare tactics that they are using and the threat to detainees’ families if they would not cooperate is a clear violation of human rights and international humanitarian law.
This only shows the AFP’s utter disregard of known international protocols governing the treatment and handling of medical personnel and political prisoners.
The harsh treatment of health workers is very much opposite of the humane and lenient treatment of the AFP and Philippine National Police personnel who were captured, detained by the New People’s Army and became Prisoners of War (POW). Former NPA POWs Police Chief Inspector Rene Francisco and P/Senior Inspector Rex Cuntapay could attest to this based on their experience.
Since Gen. Jorge Segovia and his men in the 2nd Infantry Division Philippine Army do not know how to handle detainees according to international humanitarian law and other international protocols, the NPA-Rizal advises them to consult P/Chief Inspector Rene Francisco and P/Senior Inspector Rex Cuntapay and learn from them on how to treat detainees. The AFP personnel could learn from the two former NPA POWs on how they were treated by the NPA when they were captured and detained.
PNP Officers Francisco and Cuntapay never experienced being blindfolded, manhandled and even interrogated. They were given enough rest, best NPA food and privacy on their bathroom needs. They were never deprived of their sleep, never experienced physical and psychological torture and were immediately allowed to contact their families, unlike the Morong 43 who continue to suffer various forms of torture and harassment up to the present.
General Segovia and Col. Aurelio Baladad of 202nd Infantry Brigade-PA could learn much from the 2 former POWs on the proper handling of detainees like the Morong 43 health workers.
The NPA-Rizal never planted evidence to convict Francisco and Cuntapay of the anti-people charges against them. They were properly investigated and upon finding that the crimes they committed in performance of their duties as PNP officers do not merit capital punishment, they were immediately ordered released for humanitarian reasons and as goodwill measures of the Communist Party of the Philippines, the NPA and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.
They were not released immediately only because of the stubborn stance of the AFP-PNP leadership that insisted futile rescue operations. Only upon the intercession of well-meaning individuals such as Antipolo Catholic Bishop Reyes, Rizal Governor Casimiro Ynares III, Senator Jamby Madrigal and other religious and political leaders in Rizal province that they were safely released to their families.
The 2nd ID-PA and the PNP-Rizal know that they don’t have evidence against the Morong 43 health workers and that they arrested them illegally. To justify their illegal acts they planted evidence against the health workers that makes the AFP-PNP the laughing stock because nobody believes them except themselves. AFP Generals Segovia and Bangit and Col Baladad tried to be magicians when they insisted to turn the medical instruments they confiscated into bomb-making and explosive instruments. But nobody believes their old tricks anymore. The public knows that the AFP generals and PNP officers are lying and the only proper thing for them to do is to release the Morong 43 unconditionally to their families.
STOP VIOLATING THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF THE MORONG 43 HEALTH WORKERS!
IMMEDIATELY RELEASE MORONG 43!
RESPECT HUMAN RIGHTS AND INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW!