T5 denounces Judicial Moro-moro, Escalates protest fast

March 23, 2007 at 2:50 am | Posted in Campaigns | Leave a comment

Beginning March 20, 2007, we, the Tagaytay 5 escalates our unrelenting drive for Freedom and Justice by continuing our month-long Indefinite Fast and further reducing our food intake, to reiterate the just resolution of the human rights issues which triggered our current prison protest, and to denounce the political persecution of Bayan Muna Representative Satur Ocampo, Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran, and other leaders of the progressive democratic movement.
   
Yesterday, we further decrease our intake of biscuits-and-liquids-only diet from three times a day to two times a day for Riel Custodio, Axel Pinpin and Aristides Sarmiento.  Due to health considerations, Enrico Ybañez will forego his regular lunch and subsist on regular breakfast and supper while Michael Masayes will take his regular meals due to his recurring intestinal ulcer.
   
We were constrained to take this more painstaking road to justice and freedom, and are prepared to take on even greater sacrifices, since our basic demands remain unacted upon by the concerned authorities of the PNP-PRO4A/CALABARZON, except for an unofficial and token implementation of sunning rights and outdoor exercises governed by unwritten, discretionary procedures of implementation.   Even that token measure was calculated by our custodians as a propaganda stunt that “they are not violating our rights”, meant to blunt the public sympathy that our conditions and protest fast have generated in our favor, and to render moot and academic the CHR petition to investigate our conditions.  The formal respond of PRO4A authorities to our just demands for release from prison and detainees’ welfare is a blunt threat- “transfer the Tagaytay 5 to Camp Crame!”
  
  Equally weighing heavy on our hearts and minds is the continuing moro-moro show trial at the Tagaytay RTV Branch 18.  The recent arbitrary rulings of the court and its gross failure to address substantive issues which should have facilitated our release from prison only exposes further the existence of a criminal conspiracy of the Judiciary-Department of Justice-Philippine National Police for a speedy arraignment, speedy trial and speedy conviction of the Tagaytay 5, which will be trumpeted by the GMA government as a “triumph of the legal offensive against terrorists and destabilizers”, under its Oplan Bantay-Laya.  With the thick conspiratorial airs in our last hearing on March 7, 2007, the court brushed aside in one fell swoop all motions to quash and reinvestigation, and arbitrarily
ordered our arraignment on June 25, 2007 whether we like it or not; thus paving the way for a moro-moro show trial.  So this is GMA’s much ballyhooed justice system – so slow, so deceptive,
 and so oppressive!

This is the same predicament that has befallen Ka Bel and had recently befallen Ka Satur – an orchestrated conspiracy composed of trumped-up charges; manufactured evidences, paid witnesses; overzealous police officers who were fast in jailing people but slow and poor in the common sense investigation; persecutory stance of DOJ prosecutors hunting for promotions; biased trial judges; and subhuman prison conditions.  The “legal” bind that has locked up Ka Satur, Ka Bel, the Magdalo
officers is a glaring proof that the regime is out to stifle dissent; demonize dissenters, social critics and development workers; and steal votes from the progressive party lists, in short, political persecution of the opposition by the regime so that it may survive its own crisis of legitimacy.  Even more dire
scenarios may happen with the full-scale implementation of the Anti-Terrorism Law/ Human Security Act by July 2007.
  
  With chances of gaining Justice and Freedom thinning out by the day, the more that we shall rely on other legal and meta-legal means to gain our freedom, hence this painful decision to pursue our demands through other political solutions, through our own strength, and through solidarity of our friends and advocates who value human life and human rights.
   
Thus our escalated Indefinite Fast beginning yesterday is also a symbolic direct action to protest the regime’s very rough treatment of Ka Satur.  We join other political prisoners at the National Bilibid Prison, Cebu, Bohol, Mindoro (Eduardo Serrano) and Bicutan (Sandino Esguerra) in this protest fast.
  
  We urgently appeal to our Catholic Bishops – bishop Luis Tagle of Imus; Archbishop Ramon Arguelles of Lipa; and Bishop Leo Drona of San Pablo; our Protestant Ministers; our Senators, Congressmen and other political leaders; civic-minded organizations, to meaningfully intervene in our behalf for a satisfactory resolution of our demands, so as to save human lives.
  
  We also urgently call on the International Community, such as the proper bodies of the United Nations; the European Union; the World Council of Churches, and other reputable international humanitarian and human rights organization to look into the Philippine human rights situation and heed the cries for justice in the Philippines.
   
Our case is only a graphic case at bar.  The larger picture of political persecution and repression in our country should not be lost to people who cherish human life, justice and freedom.
  
  TAGAYTAY 5
  March 20, 2007
30th Day of our Indefinite Fast

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