TFDP urges P-Noy to release Juanito Itaas and all political prisoners
On Political Prisoners
Thursday, 22 July 2010 13:57

Press Release                        
July 22, 2010

Glenda_Jojo_Itaas_with_son_Photo_R_Yamzon__jul2210_85smallGlenda Itaas with son. Photo Rommel Yamzon

Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) and 100 strong members of the Free All Political Prisoners/Detainees Campaign Network launch their “White Ribbon for Freedom Campaign” by holding a peaceful and symbolic tying of white ribbons to the barbed wire fences blocking the Mendiola entrance to Malacañang.  They call for President Aquino to release Juanito Itaas and all other political prisoners.

The group accompanies Glenda “Jojo” Itaas and her children to the Office of the President in sending a letter of appeal urging President Benigno Aquino III to use his good will and executive power to release and end the 21 long years of political imprisonment of her husband Juanito Itaas.  He was arrested in 1989 and was convicted for the killing of Col. James Rowe, an American Military Official.

“Umaapela ako at nagsusumamo po sa mahal nating Presidente Noynoy na palayain na ang aking asawa. Matagal na po siyang nagdurusa sa kulungan sa kasalanang hindi naman talaga niya ginawa,” (I am appealing to our beloved President Noynoy for the release of my husband.  He has been suffering in jail for a crime he really did not commit) Mrs. Jojo Itaas lamented.

Juanito Itaas was sentenced to life imprisonment for the killing of Col. James Rowe, the American Soldier who was working with Joint United States Military Advisory Group (JUSMAG) and was active in the anti-insurgency operation during the anti-bases campaign launched by activists in the late 80s.

“Itaas was only a fall guy.  His admission of involvement to the crime was because he was heavily tortured.  Languishing in jail for twenty-one years is more than enough punishment for a crime he did not commit,” said Jonal Javier, TFDP Program Coordinator.


TFDP & Free All Political Prisoners/Detainees Campaign Network Tie a white ribbon for freedom. Photo by Rommel Yamzon

As a symbol of appeal to P-Noy, the group tied white ribbons to the barbed wire fences blocking the Malacañang gate from the Mendiola bridge. “The white ribbons symbolize our call for freedom, justice and peace.  We hope that P-Noy will Free Nitoy Itaas and all political prisoners.  The President should not forget that his father was once a political prisoner himself.  President Aquino knows how it feels to have a loved one who was illegally detained because of his principles,” Javier added.

TFDP welcomes President Aquino’s order to review the possible injustice on Senator Trillanes’ case.  TFDP is optimistic that he will also show concern about the plight of the 263 political prisoners/detainees who remain in different detention centers nationwide.  “These are men and women who were jailed because of their political beliefs.  Their civil and political rights were grossly violated with impunity,” Javier further explained.

“We would like to tell our President that ‘ang matuwid na daan’ is for our government to respect, protect and fulfill the human rights of the people,” TFDP concluded.

Members of Free All political Prisoners/Detainees Campaign Network (Alab Katipunan, Bukluran ng Mangagawang Pilipino, Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya, Partido ng Lakas ng Masa, Partido ng Mangagawa, Rehas), Relatives and Former Political Prisoners attended the mass action.

For more information please contact:
Egay Cabalitan – TFDP Advocacy Staff at 09219645017; 437 80 54; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Last Updated on Saturday, 31 July 2010 15:03

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