By ILOCOS HUMAN RIGHTS ALLIANCE (IHRA)
They have long been languishing behind bars despite their innocence.
The CERVANTES 4-Edward Galao, Hilario Bantew, Luinesa Bonella and Joy Attiw, were illegally arrested on trumped-up charges by the ruthless elements of 50th Infantry Battalion and 503rd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army under Col. Rogelio Posadas and elements of Philippine National Police (PNP) Cervantes last September and October 2011.
The CERVANTES 4 were accused by the military as members of the New People’s Army (NPA) whom they had encountered last September, but their families and even local government officials in their respective towns attested they are civilians. Bantew and Galao were detained at the Cervantes Municipal Jail and their cases have yet to prosper after their counter affidavits were filed at the Provincial Prosecutor’s office. Bonella and Attiw’s cases have been heard at the Tagudin RTC and the Judge has yet to decide.
The CERVANTES 4, jailed and persecuted for political reasons, were denied due process and justice. Their human rights were trampled on by the blood-thirsty and merciless military. As a result, they had to endure the poor and unhealthy conditions of the local jail and suffer from the emotional distress. Their families suffer too, worried about the conditions faced by their love ones, and worst, three very young children were separated from their mother. The arrest and continuing detention of the CERVANTES 4 is a glaring proof of the military’s desperate attempt to track down their so-called “enemies”.These punishment iposed on the CERVANTES 4 is solid proof Noynoy Aquino’s OPLAN BAYANIHAN is no-different from other murderous and repressive counterinsurgency programs.
The Ilocos Human Rights Alliance (IHRA-KARAPATAN) and the families of CERVANTES 4 decry the continuing detention of the CERVANTES 4 and demand for their immediate release. We call on the Department of Justice and the Court to speed up the process of their cases. We also call on the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to stand for the victims, conduct fast and credible investigation and indemnify the victims and their families.
FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS! GENERAL, OMNIBUS AND UNCONDITIONAL AMNESTY TO ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS, NOW! JUSTICE FOR ALL VICTIMS OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS! # nordis.net