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MORONG 43 RETURNED BY THE POLICE BACK TO THE ARMY CAMP

by PESANTE-USA Saturday, Apr. 10, 2010 at 12:02 PM
magsasakapil@yahoo.com 213-241-0906 337 Glendale Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026

The PESANTE NEWS learned today that the PNP refuses to house ‘Morong 38’ . They were asked to return to Camp Capinpin, Tanay. Rizal. In line with an order issued by a Morong, Rizal court, 38 members of the so-called “Morong 43” group of health workers were brought to Camp Crame on board a Philippine Army bus Friday morning. About half an hour later, the Philippine National Police (PNP) promptly sent them back to the military’s Camp Capinpin in Rizal, saying it had no room for them in its crowded detention facility.

MORONG 43 RETURNED B...
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PESANTE NEWS
April 9, 2010

MORONG 43 RETURNED BY THE POLICE BACK TO THE ARMY CAMP

Los Angeles- The PESANTE NEWS learned today that the PNP refuses to house ‘Morong 38’ . They were asked to return to Camp Capinpin, Tanay. Rizal.

In line with an order issued by a Morong, Rizal court, 38 members of the so-called “Morong 43” group of health workers were brought to Camp Crame on board a Philippine Army bus Friday morning.

About half an hour later, the Philippine National Police (PNP) promptly sent them back to the military’s Camp Capinpin in Rizal, saying it had no room for them in its crowded detention facility.

PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. Leonardo Espina said the national police had filed a motion for reconsideration with the Morong regional trial court branch rejecting the detainees’ transfer to Camp Crame.

The PNP motion said its custodial center would not be able to accommodate the 38 because the facility, built for a maximum of 96 people, was already holding 141 detainees.

Facility beyond full

“This service cannot afford to violate the fundamental rights of the accused against subhuman conditions while being in detention,” the motion said, adding that the facility “is already beyond its maximum standard capacity.”

The 38 detainees were among 43 health workers arrested on Feb. 6 in a resort in Morong on military allegations that they were rebels. The group—later dubbed in the media as the “Morong 43”—denied the accusation and said they were merely holding a health seminar.

Soon after the arrests, the military said five in the group had turned state witness.

The Court of Appeals has dismissed the group’s petition for habeas corpus questioning their arrest.

The air-conditioned military bus carrying the 38 detainees arrived at Camp Crame before 10 a.m. and was directed to park on the camp’s parade grounds. At around 10:30 a.m., the bus was sent back to Camp Capinpin.

The detainees have been detained at Camp Capinpin, the headquarters of the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division in Tanay, since February.

The PNP petition, signed by Supt. Cesar Magsino, acting chief of the PNP Custodial Center, also said Camp Crame was too far from the venue of the hearings of the workers.

“It will be more economical and with lesser security risk if said individuals be detained in a place more proximate to the venue of the hearing,” the petition said.

The 38 are facing charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives. The military and police raiders claimed they recovered guns and explosives from the group at the time of their arrest.

The relatives of the 43 detainees said they were worried

Supporters of the detainees blasted the failed transfer.

Lt. Col. Ernesto Torres, Army spokesperson, said the military would coordinate closely with the PNP on what to do with the detainees while the issue of where they should be detained was being resolved.

Physical, mental torture

Supporters and relatives of the detainees complained that the detainees had been physically and mentally tortured while in military custody, a charge the military denies.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has said it found evidence the detainees had been tortured and is conducting an investigation.

The PNP says the other detainees at its custodial facility include Sen. Antonio Trillianes, retired Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia, Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim, as well as members of the Abu Sayyaf, Jemaah Islamiya and Rajah Sulaiman groups.

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