Morong 43's kin file raps at CHR
- Katherine Adraneda () - February 26, 2010 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Relatives and lawyers of the 43 health workers arrested by the military in Morong, Rizal on Feb. 6, or the so-called Morong 43, filed a complaint before the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) yesterday.

The complaint includes affidavits of the health workers and medical records from doctors who examined them.

The militant group Bayan and Karapatan, a human rights watchdog, are assisting the 43 health workers and their families.

Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. said the complaint seeks to hold the soldiers of the 2nd Infantry Division and the 202nd Infantry Brigade, as well as the police officers who “conducted the illegal arrest.

“The complaint shows proof that torture and ill treatment were indeed committed against the 43 health workers inside Camp Capinpin. Some of the ill treatment continues even today,” he said.

The complaint filed before the CHR follows a petition for a writ of amparo filed earlier by the health workers’ lawyers and relatives before the Supreme Court (SC). The SC referred the petition to the Court of Appeals (CA), which has yet to issue a resolution on the matter.

Bayan previously criticized the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for allegedly violating provisions in the newly signed anti-torture law or Republic Act 9745. The group said the health workers were allegedly blindfolded and handcuffed for 36 hours and subjected to other forms of physical and psychological torture.

Bayan claimed the 43 detainees were also made to suffer the indignity of having other people remove their pants and underwear before they could urinate.

“The complaint should also have a bearing on the promotions of the officers involved in the torture and illegal arrests of the 43. Maj. Gen. Jorge Segovia of the 2nd ID and Col. Aurelio Baladad of the 202nd IB will have to face the consequences of command responsibility for the abuses committed against the 43,” Reyes said.

The CHR is planning to issue an order asking the AFP to formally respond to the allegation of torture and abuse, as well as asking the Department of Justice to explain why the 43 health workers were allegedly denied lawyers during their inquest proceedings in Camp Capinpin.

ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES AURELIO BALADAD BAYAN BAYAN AND KARAPATAN CAMP CAPINPIN COURT OF APPEALS DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE HEALTH HUMAN RIGHTS INFANTRY BRIGADE INFANTRY DIVISION
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