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Free ALL political prisoners coming from ALL rebel groups
On Political Prisoners
Monday, 20 June 2016 15:28

Free ALL political prisoners coming from ALL rebel groups

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Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) welcomes the resumption of peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front (NDF). Since 1986, we have keenly watched the perilous journey towards peace between the two parties.

TFDP, like all other Filipinos, desires peace – a peace firmly anchored on the bedrock of justice. For too long so many of our kababayans have wallowed in abject poverty and exclusion. Thirty years of elite democracy has proven it cannot alleviate the problems of hunger, landlessness, joblessness, exclusion and discrimination.

The time to change was years ago. Now, we are given the opportunity once more to tread the path of change.

TFDP welcomes the release of political prisoners through amnesty. We welcome the immediate release of those who are sickly and those who are covered by the JASIG.

In the spirit of compassion and mercy and as an act of statesmanship, we request the two parties to consider these proposals.

We ask the two parties to consider the release of ALL political prisoners coming from ALL rebel groups as a major step towards peace and reconciliation. We are fully aware that a great number of the political prisoners come from the NDF bloc but we are aware too that a significant number come from our Moro brothers and sisters. There are also long-held political prisoners like Juanito Itaas, Gerry Butial,  and Basilides Badion who have languished in jail since the time of Cory Aquino and Fidel Ramos. There are also those coming from other rebel groups such as the RPM-RPA-ABB, the RHB, the MLPP-ABB, etc.

All of them deserve freedom. All of them long to embrace their loved ones.

Any meaningful amnesty proclamation must cover ALL political prisoners coming from ALL rebel groups. Any release of political prisoners should not discriminate against their political affiliation and must not exclude any by virtue of a limited period of coverage.

We must free ALL political prisoners recognized as such coming from ALL rebel groups regardless of when and where they committed their alleged offenses.

The amnesty proclamation should cover Juanito “Nitoy” Itaas, the longest held political prisoner to date (based on our records). He has already applied for amnesty under the administration of Fidel V. Ramos but was denied release due to outside pressure.

We reiterate our call: Free ALL political prisoners coming from ALL rebel groups!

Pursue peace based on justice!

Last Updated on Monday, 20 June 2016 15:35
 
Task Force Detainees of the Philippines’ position on the proposed restoration of death penalty
Other campaigns
Thursday, 02 June 2016 18:05
TASK FORCE DETAINEES OF THE PHILIPPINES’ POSITION ON THE PROPOSED RESTORATION OF DEATH PENALTY

Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) reiterates its strong opposition to the planned restoration of death penalty with the following reasons:

1.    Death Penalty does not eliminate crime

When death penalty was implemented in 1994 crimes punishable by death persisted. As long as justice system fails to render fair and effective prosecution, occurrence of crime will continue and death penalty will not be a deterrent.  

Scientific research failed to prove that death penalty deters crime and has any significant impact on the incidence of crime.

2.    Implementation of death penalty law bears several flaws

The study conducted in 2001 – 2002 by the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) shows that 2/3 of death row inmates are poor and those who cannot afford to pay a legal counsel. They relied on the free legal services offered by the government. Thus, death penalty will be biased against the poor.

And because torture still persists even with RA9745 or the Anti-Torture Law, there will always be great possibility of suspects being forced and compelled to admit the crime.

Based from the review of death penalty cases from 1995 to 1999 conducted by the Supreme Court, they admitted that two out of three death sentences were erroneous and since death penalty is irreparable, the sanctions deprives the offender to improve and do good in the society.

3.    Death penalty is a violation of person’s right to life


Death penalty is a violation of a person’s right to life which is non-derogable, that is, they cannot be suspended even in a state of emergency.  Article 4(2) of the

International Covenant on Civil Political Rights (ICCPR) provides that no derogation to right to life is permitted.

Philippines is signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and has ratified ICCPR and is obliged to respect, protect and fulfill human rights.
Last Updated on Thursday, 02 June 2016 18:06
 
Free ALL political prisoners and detainees regardless of political affiliations
On Political Prisoners
Tuesday, 31 May 2016 18:11

Free ALL political prisoners and detainees regardless of political affiliations

Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) welcomes the pronouncement of the President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to release all political prisoners not only as a confidence building measure for the resumption of peace talks with the CPP-NPA-NDF but to begin to heal the divide and exclusion of different groups/sectors from governance and development.

We strongly urge the incoming administration to free ALL political prisoners coming from different political/revolutionary groups and all the human rights defenders who are victims of trumped-up charges under the previous administrations.

TFDP documented 340 political prisoners and detainees nationwide including those alleged members of different Moro rebel groups, alleged members of Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPA-ABB) and alleged members of the Rebolusyonaryong Hukbong Bayan (RHB).

There are also human rights defenders detained because of false charges to silence them in fighting and defending their rights.  Antonio Tolentino or Apung Tony, a barangay chieftain in Porac, Pampanga was arrested on April 16, 2014 on false charges of kidnapping and carjacking.

Apung Tony leads the residents and farmers’ group in a dispute against land developers in Hacienda Dolores.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 31 May 2016 18:13
 
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