8 political prisoners ordered to be released by PGMA remain in prison after she steps down
On Political Prisoners
Tuesday, 06 July 2010 15:40
July 6, 2010
Press Release

8 political prisoners ordered to be released by PGMA remain in prison after she steps down

Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) a human rights organization calls for P-Noy’s attention on the situation of their so-called “FREEDOM-8” or 8 political prisoners in New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinglupa.  The release of the “FREEDOM-8” according to TFDP was signed by PGMA this May 2010 as a product of their lobby to the Presidential Committee on Bail Recognizance Pardon or PCBReP.

A memorandum signed by Executive Secretary Leandro Mendoza for their release was only transmitted to the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) this June 25, 2010, a Friday and three (3) working days before PGMA’s last day in Malacanang.  TFDP and relatives of the 8 expected the supposed releases before PGMA stepped down from office.

“The pending releases of the 8 political prisoners were because of the bureaucratic red tape of the government, and the inefficiency of the PCBReP in facilitating the releases. In the first place, we were told that the only last document that BuCor needed in order to release the 8 are individual papers that are supposed to be issued by the Office of the President, and was supposedly facilitated by this committee,” Emmanuel Amistad, the Executive Director of the TFDP said.

“These papers should have been processed and finished earlier if they are really sincere in releasing the 8 political prisoners as a product of their evaluation. They should have accomplished this paper work long before June 30. It took them how many weeks to implement the president’s release order and now after June 30, the eight remain in prison. While the government was quick to release the likes of Jalosjos, Teehankee and Manero, the process of releasing political prisoners who belong to the marginalized sector of society is like going through the eye of a needle,” he added.

According to TFDP, the supposed release of “FREEDOM-8” was better than nothing out of the 271 who are languishing in different detention centers around the country. “We are calling the attention of President Aquino about the situation of our “FREEDOM-8”and his intervention for their immediate release.  We call on the President to consider the unconditional release of all political prisoners and detainees.  Of course we pray for the direct intervention of Secretary Atty. Leila De Lima of the Department of Justice who during her chairpersonship in CHR was closely working with us on the political prisoners/detainees’ plight,” Amistad further said.

The PCBReP was reactivated 2008 after TFDP and relatives of political prisoner’s had a dialogue with Presidential Committee on Human Rights (PHRC) with regards to their lobby for the release under the then Under Secretary Catura.  DOJ heads PCBReP.

Amistad proclaimed that, “With Atty. Leila De Lima as Secretary of DOJ, we are very confident that the political prisoners’ situation will be given enough attention and prompt action.”

FREEDOM-8 were jailed for more than 15 years because of their political beliefs and principles. Their relatives and friends are now seeing hope from the new government for ending a more than a decade of waiting for freedom and justice for their loved ones.  

FREEDOM-8 includes Orlando Bundalian Jr. (43), Rogelio Galero (42), Rupert Lopez (42), Pedro Madera (40), Anacleto Mercader (45), Pedro Pascual (60), Mariano Reyes (43) and Rodolfo Tubera (42).
For more information please contact:

Emmanuel Amistad – TFDP Executive Director at Tel: 437 8054; 995 0246
Egay Cabalitan Jr. – TFDP Advocacy Staff
Mobile #: 09219645017
Office #: 437 80 54
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 July 2010 15:47

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