160TH Day of Illegal Detention

October 6, 2006 at 6:05 am | Posted in Campaigns | Leave a comment

We, the Tagaytay 5, denounce in very strong terms, the new round of strong negligence and utter disregard of detainees basic rights and welfare after the wide destruction in CALABARZON in the aftermath of “Milenyo”.

 Eight days after “Milenyo” left, the entire Camp Vicente Lim (Headquarters of PNP PRO-4A CALABARZON and 4B MIMAROPA) and its environs is still under darkness and no regular supply of water. Classes in this area are still suspended; normal office businesses in PRO-4 are in disarray. Even policemen on duty always complain on the unusually very long power and water supply interruption.

 Most affected and oppressed by the power and water supply failure here in Camp Vicente Lim are the Tagaytay 5 political prisoners now detained in this headquarters. This gross deficiency in basic services has created a very depriving jail situation – oppressive heat, no potable water, even domestic water for the toilets; no ventilation. These jail conditions have already led to various illnesses for the political detainees such as asthma attacks, continuous coughing fainting, and further psychological distress and anxiety.

 And health conditions are fast deteriorating. In fact, we are now bracing for possible breakout of pneumonia, broncho pneumonia, amoebiasis and other deleterious diseases. This grave situation is further exacerbated by the gross negligence of officers of this camp in resolving the power and water supply especially in the Detention Center.

 For the past seven days, the detainees were left to fend for themselves or to the goodwill of some lower ranked police officers to have some potable water, rain water and 5 esperma (worth P10) candles. For 3 days out of 7, we survived with stacked rain water. On other times, we scrimped for coins for our drinking water. Middle-level and higher level officers have consigned us to the curt advise of “Magtiis at magtiyaga lang!” and nothing-more moves.

 It is really unthinkable and very ironical that a major camp, and regional headquarters at that, will not be prioritized by MERALCO in the restoration of its power services, nor that the camp itself does not have any emergency gadget for whatever contingency. Indeed MERALCO would not prioritize power to the big debtor-customer with hundreds of thousands of pesos in outstanding accounts, representing several months of back accounts!

 Hence, the proper authorities of this camp has left everything to FATE and nothing really moves hereabouts the past eight days to alleviate our conditions, while they wait for the new Regional Director. This is another case of gross negligence, blatant disregard to basic rights, as mandated in the United Nation’s Standard Minimum Requirements for the Treatment of Prisoners, and utter lack of humanitarian consideration under the very abnormal and oppressive conditions. Our current prison conditions are tantamount to cruel and inhumane punishment of unconvicted detainees.

 We demand an expeditious resolution of these oppressive conditions, lest the PNP will have no one to arraign on October 9. We can only endure so much hardships and sufferings.

October 5, 2006
Base Police Detention Center
Cam Vicente Lim, Canlubang
Calamba City, Laguna


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