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KMU to Noy: Trillanes not the only victim of injustice, release political prisoners

Saying that Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV is not the only victim of injustice under the Arroyo regime, labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno reiterated today its call for President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III to act immediately towards the release of political prisoners in the country, including its labor leader and the 43 health workers. 

KMU was reacting to President Aquino’s statement that Sen. Trillanes “may have been a victim of injustice” and to his directive to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to conduct a “thorough review” of the Magdalo officer’s case. 

”Why only Trillanes? Activists who are still illegally detained are also victims of injustice. If President Aquino is serious in reversing the injustices done by his predecessor, he should also act now to release them immediately,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson. 

”Many among our country’s political detainees were arrested with fake warrants, were slapped with trumped-up charges, are being subjected to the snail-paced workings of our courts, and are unjustly languishing in jail. There is no reason they should remain in jail any longer,” Labog added.

Labog cited the case of KMU Eastern Visayas regional coordinator Vincent “Ka Bebot” Borja, who remains illegally detained in Tacloban City jail up to now. Borja was arrested and detained in May 2007 by the military’s 802nd Infantry Brigade with the use of a fake arrest warrant based on fabricated murder charges.

“Borja was arrested and detained because he was a staunch campaigner against Arroyo’s anti-people policies. He fought for the rights of workers and other oppressed sectors. He was never a criminal,” said Labog.

Also, the 43 health workers who were illegally arrested by the military and police in Morong Rizal on February 6 remain illegally detained in Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig. 

“President Aquino should release Borja, the 43 health workers and other political prisoners immediately lest he be accused of perpetuating the injustice committed by his predecessor,” Labog said.   

The labor center blamed the previous administration’s Inter-Agency Legal Action Group (IALAG) which was created through Executive Order 493 for causing the illegal arrest and detention of many of the country’s political prisoners whom the government brands as communists and criminals.

”The IALAG may have been abolished last May 2009, in a belated response to calls for its abolition, but the injustices it committed remain unreversed to this day. Like Trillanes, our country’s political detainees are being kept in jail for alleged crimes which the Arroyo regime invented to persecute its critics,” Labog said. 

 

Reference Person: 
Elmer Labog, KMU Chairperson
Contact information: 
0908-163-6597

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