Posted by: nupl | July 6, 2010

PEOPLES’ LAWYERS DENOUNCE GESTAPO-LIKE RAID ON HEALTH WORKERS TRAINING

PRESS STATEMENT

11 February 2010

PEOPLES’ LAWYERS DENOUNCE GESTAPO-LIKE RAID ON HEALTH WORKERS TRAINING

Vows to Make the Perpetrators Accountable Before Various Local and International Fora

The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers denounces the illegal arrest, continued illegal detention, torture and cruel, degrading and inhuman treatment of forty-three (43) health workers abducted by the military in the morning of February 6, 2010.

This act of the military shows a blatant disregard and disrespect not only of proper legal procedures but also of basic human dignity, and is replete with human rights violations left and right.

From the very beginning, the search itself was illegal, because it proceeded from a search warrant that was invalid on its face. But the indubitable fact is that the “evidence” that was presented were routinarily planted to justify and cover-up the illegality of this blunder.  The arrested health workers were also denied their basic constitutional rights which every civilized society should follow. They were purposely uninformed of the nature of their arrest, and they were simply blindfolded and led away like cattle. Also, all the health workers were denied visit by counsel, doctors, and family, in clear contravention of their rights.  Up to now, despite our protestations and assertions as members of the court sworn to perform our duties, we have been denied access to our clients in utter disregard and contempt of the basic right to counsel.

We have also received the latest reports from the detained health workers that they have been subjected to acts of torture, both physical and mental, by their military abductors. It is deplorable that the military was determined to showcase their brute force and superior strength by sending eight (8) military trucks, two (2) armored personnel carriers, and at least three hundred (300) heavily-armed soldiers and policemen to arrest forty-three (43) unarmed health workers.

By the way, these health workers, according to the military, are members of the New Peoples’ Army. In fact, the military does not suspect it; the military is 101% sure that these workers have Communist ties. But they are legitimate health workers, doing legitimate health outreach projects. Among them are doctors, nurses, and medical aides, who have chosen to devote themselves to helping the local community by bringing the medical missions to them, since the government is unable or refuses to do it.

The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers, together with the Public  Interest Law Center (PILC), will defend to the fore our clients and ensure that civil, administrative, and criminal cases will be filed both in the local and international fora against each and every one accountable  for this latest affront to human rights   We have also closed ranks with our colleagues in the profession in the international community to expose this barbaric and unmitigated  travesty that happens  under this government that has no qualms and sense of decency. We further challenge those running in the coming elections to unequivocally state where they stand on this basic question of the so-called rule of law and human rights. #

Reference:

Atty. Edre U. Olalia

Acting Secretary General

0917-5113373

Atty. Julius Garcia Matibag

Spokesperson

0927-9293089

Posted on 10 Feb 2010 at nupl.net

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