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TFDP launches “4 O’clock Habit” in Facebook to appeal for the release of an ailing political prisoner
On Political Prisoners
Thursday, 09 June 2011 13:40
PRESS RELEASE
June 9, 2011

TFDP launches “4 O’clock Habit” in Facebook to appeal for the release of an ailing political prisoner

Amidst the issue of VIP treatment for former Governor Leviste that resulted to the resignation of the New Bilibid Prison Director Ernesto Diokno, rights group Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) urged President Aquino to release an ailing prisoner.

The group used the social networking site Facebook to solicit support by asking their friends to post an online prayer every 4PM for Mariano Umbrero, a political prisoner diagnosed with cancer. “We pray for Umbrero’s health and that God may touch P-Noy’s heart and convince him to exercise his power to grant executive clemency to Tatay Umbrero whose health is deteriorating rapidly,” Emmanuel Amistad, Executive Director of TFDP said.     

According to TFDP, the campaign is part of the S.O.S. Appeal Campaign for the release of Tatay Umbrero that started last month with sending of letters to President Aquino and concerned government agencies.  

Mariano Umbrero, a political prisoner and currently serving his sentence at the New Bilibid Prison-NBP (national penitentiary) is in extremely critical state due to diagnosed lung cancer.

Based on his clinical abstract after a medical check-up conducted at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) dated January 31, 2011, Umbrero acquired Non-Small Cell Carcinoma Stage 4. Some few weeks back, Umbrero complained of difficulty in breathing and had a sudden episode of intense epigastric pain which was severe enough to warrant admission in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of NBP hospital. Aside from the said medical findings, Umbrero is also suffering from multiple organ problems that include his heart and liver.

“We laud DOJ Secretary De Lima’s decisive action on reforming NBP as result of the special treatment given to rich prisoners like former Governor Leviste.  We are saddened by the realities that while rich criminals are given privileges, political prisoners who came from and fought for the poor remain in prison and are treated like criminals,” said Amistad.

“We are also disappointed with the Office of the President’s reply to our various letters of appeal with regards to Tatay Umbrero’s condition.  We were referred to the Board of Pardons and Parole. Even DOJ Secretary De Lima responded the same way by just giving referral to the Board of Pardons and Parole who have taken no action up to now.  It is urgent and imperative to free Tatay Umbrero now. Let him spend his remaining days with his loved ones. Let him breathe the air of freedom,” Amistad added.

“Tatay Umbrero has suffered more than enough.  He was also a victim of Martial Law.  His condition qualifies for pardon and even executive clemency. Let Tatay Umbrero experience freedom before it’s too late.  The BPP was able to release rich criminals like Jalosjos and others, why can’t they do it with Tatay Umbrero?” Amistad concluded. ###


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Last Updated on Thursday, 09 June 2011 13:44
 

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