Please support our effort in saving the lives of our Filipino doctors and health workers who committed to stay in the Philippines to provide health services to under served communities, instead of working abroad. Who are now being illegally detained and tortured. Our US tax dollars contribute to this atrocities by sending military aid in the Philippines.
One of our member’s sister-in law (Robert Clamor) is one of the victims being held by the military.
National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON)
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E-signature for OPEN LETTER TO CONDEMN ILLEGAL ARREST OF 43 HEALTHCARE WORKERS in the Philippines
We, the undersigned, strongly condemn the Philippine police and military’s illegal raid and abduction of 43 community health workers and doctors who were conducting health skills training in Morong, Rizal, Philippines on Saturday, February 6. The health workers and doctors administer health services to poor communities, and were participating in a First Responders Training, sponsored by the Community Medicine Foundation, Inc. (COMMED) and Council for Health and Development (CHD). Their personal belongings, as well the training materials used, were all confiscated by the military.
According to reports by the media and the human rights alliance KARAPATAN, approximately 300 soldiers and police of the Southern Luzon Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Rizal Philippine National Police (PNP) forcibly entered the farmhouse of Dr. Melecia Velmonte at 6:15 AM. The training participants were then lined up, violently frisked, blindfolded, and taken to Camp Capinpin, headquarters of the 202nd Infantry Brigade, AFP. The health workers have been held incommunicado since then, and have been denied their right to legal counsel. A team from the Commission on Human Rights was also blocked from seeing the detainees.
We condemn the government for sending the message that Filipino doctors and nurses are welcome to go abroad to work, but they are unjustly targeted and arrested if they stay in the Philippines to serve the poor and the underserved. These illegally arrested and detained health workers are the first responders that have tirelessly served the communities affected by the flooding and landslides in the aftermath of Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng last year.
We are deeply concerned for the safety of these healthcare professionals who have committed their lives to serve the underserved communities in the Philippines. We are equally concerned that it is our tax dollars that are being sent to finance the Philippine government and its’ military in on-going operations that are clear violations of basic human rights. We support the following demands so that they can immediately return to their families and the communities that they serve without further violations of their human rights.
- The immediate release of the health workers who are illegally arrested and illegally detained at Camp Capinpin, Tanay, Rizal.
- The government to ensure the safety of the victims and that they are not harmed; their belongings be returned immediately to them.
- The immediate formation of an independent fact-finding and investigation team composed of representatives from human rights groups, the Church, local government, and the Commission on Human Rights that will look into raid and illegal arrest of the health workers conducting health skills training in Morong, Rizal.
- The military to stop the labeling and targeting of human rights defenders as “members of front organizations of the communists” and “enemies of the state.”
- The Philippine Government to be reminded that it is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and that it is also a party to all the major Human Rights instruments, thus it is bound to observe all of these instruments’ provisions.
- The immediate withdrawal of US military aid to the Philippine government and military that continue to perpetrate violations of human and civil rights.
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