Human rights groups and peoples’ organizations led by the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) declared in a press conference this morning in Quezon City the start of the nationwide fasting of political prisoners dubbed as “Fast for freedom, fast for human rights,” to call for President Benigno Aquino III to release all political prisoners and declare a clear human rights policy.
“Today, July 21, 2011, all political prisoners languishing in jails around the country start their protest by skipping breakfast and lunch to fast for freedom and human rights,” Emmanuel Amistad , Executive Director of Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) said.
Political prisoners in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) led the protest fasting as indignation to the death of the cancer-stricken political prisoner Tatay Mariano Umbrero who died in July 15, 2011 after government’s failure in granting executive clemency on humanitarian grounds.
“Ang pag-aayunong ito ay aming ilulunsad dahil sa kawalan ng sinserong pagtugon o atensiyon ng administrasyong Aquino sa mga isyu ng karapatang pantao. Bahagi din ng pag-aayunong ito ang panawagan para sa pagpapalaya sa lahat ng tulad naming bilanggong pulitikal na walang tinatanging organisasyong pinagmulan,” Juanito Itaas, chairperson of the Political Prisoners Steering Committee in NBP, Muntinglupa said in their statement.
Political prisoners and detainees in NBP together with those incarcerated in jails in other parts of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao join the protest actions in denouncing the P-Noy’s “matuwid na daan” as a sham. They vow to escalate their fast to a hunger strike soon as the government continues to ignore human rights in its governance agenda.
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