Political prisoners in
Southern Tagalog launch hunger strike; slam Arroyo's gov't spent
By KARAPATAN - Southern Tagalog
QUEZON CITY – To
mark their protest against illegal arrest and injustice, political
prisoners detained in Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan will go through
fasting starting today, Dec. 3, coinciding with the International
Solidarity for the release of political prisoners.
The indefinite hunger
strike and sympathy fasting of relatives with human rights group
Karapatan - Southern Tagalog (ST) will be simultaneous with other
political prisoners’ detained in Cavite, Batangas, Laguna, Quezon and
Rizal provincial jails. This campaign on hunger strike also occurs in
other detentions of political prisoners in different parts of the
A mass will be held at
Camp Bagong Diwa at
9 A.M., followed by the start of the sympathy fasting.
“The funny thing about
our country today is, the state keeps on putting innocent people in
jail while thieves can leave the country. And while political
prisoners die behind bars for made-up criminal charges, the biggest
corrupt politician gets to enjoy a presidential suite in a private
hospital,” said Glen Malabanan from KARAPATAN - ST.
According to news
reports, the said suite in St. Luke’s Hospital, Taguig, where Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo is confined, is worth P50,000 per day. Some of the
amenities inside the suite are a 42 inch plasma television, hot and
cold water dispenser and DVD and VHS players. Arroyo also requested
for a cellphone and laptop for internet access.
On the other hand,
Nestor San Jose, a political detainee in Quezon Provincial Jail has
died due to an illness while detained at the Quezon Provincial Jail
last November 9 due to lack of health assistance by government.
In Batangas Provincial
Jail, several family members of political prisoners will shave their
heads while inmates will get a “Free all political prisoners” tattoo
in solidarity to free all political prisoners.
“It’s a Filipino
customary that once one family member suffers, the others suffer as
well. We call on to the government to free all political prisoners so
that no family will suffer anymore,” said Bishop Arthur Asi of the
United Church of Christ in the Philippines Southern Luzon
The supporters and
family members also stormed in front of Camp Crame today to denounced
the continuing human rights violations in the region. Family members
of victims - Lino Baez father of Noel Baez who was beaten and harassed
by the military in Batangas after declining to be a CAFGU recruit; and
the mothers of Billy Betrina and Maricon Montajes who were illegally
arrested, along with four others from Batangas - supported the event.
Starting today, the
simultaneous programs in different provincial jails and in Bicutan
will start with protest actions at 10 A.M. and a 4 o’clock habit which
is a regular noise barrage every 4 P.M.