HomeNewsCHR urged to monitor, advocate release of elderly political detainees

CHR urged to monitor, advocate release of elderly political detainees

An organization of former political prisoners has officially requested the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to intervene and facilitate the release of elderly and sick political detainees in the Philippines. 

In a letter directed to CHR Chairperson Richard Palpal-latoc, the Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainee Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) stressed the precarious health and legal battles faced by these prisoners due to stringent anti-terror legislation.

According to SELDA, there are currently 754 political prisoners in the country, many of whom are critically ill or advanced in age. 

“Ninety of these prisoners are older individuals and another 102 suffer from various serious ailments,” said SELDA spokesperson Bonifacio Ilagan. 

He emphasized the need for immediate action, given the severity of their health conditions combined with the alleged baselessness of their charges.

The group drew attention to specific cases such as that of Ernesto Jude Rimando, a 79-year-old trade union researcher, Rosita Taboy, a retired peasant organizer, and Marites Coseñas, all of whom face critical health issues and are detained under contentious conditions. 

“The situations of Rimando, Taboy, and Coseñas are not only extremely unjust but also inhumane, highlighting the arbitrary nature of their arrests and the fabricated charges laid against them,” said Ilagan. 

- Newsletter -

SELDA’s letter also pointed out the broader issue of the increasing utilization of counter-terrorism laws against activists, including environmentalist Miguela Peniero, church worker Aldeem Yañez, journalist Frenchie Mae Cumpio, and humanitarian worker Marielle Domequil. 

Ilagan criticized the current administration under President Marcos Jr. for perpetuating what he described as a policy of criminalizing dissent and stifling human rights advocacy, a stance inherited from previous governments.

“We remain steadfast in our call for the urgent release of all political prisoners,” said Ilagan. 

© Copyright LiCAS.news. All rights reserved. Republication of this article without express permission from LiCAS.news is strictly prohibited. For republication rights, please contact us at: [email protected]

Support LiCAS.news

We work tirelessly each day to tell the stories of those living on the fringe of society in Asia and how the Church in all its forms - be it lay, religious or priests - carries out its mission to support those in need, the neglected and the voiceless.
We need your help to continue our work each day. Make a difference and donate today.