Militants call for release of Andrea Rosal

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Thursday, June 5, 2014


MILITANT groups on Thursday filed a petition before the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) calling for the immediate release of alleged communist rebel leader Andrea Rosal and all other political prisoners.

"Kaugnay ito sa mga ginagawang panggigipit sa mga bilanggong political katulad ng pagtatanggal sa kanilang karapatang magehersisyo at marami pang usapin sa loob nbg bilangguan, bago at mula nang sila ay maglunsad ng bnoise barrage kaugnay sa hindi makataong kalagayan ni Andrea Rosal habang nagbubuntis sa loob ng bilangguan," the complaint read.

Roneo Clamor, deputy secretary general of Karapatan, said the government should release all political prisoners particularly women who are mostly experiencing inhumane conditions in jails.

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According to Karapatan's latest figures, there were 489 political prisoners nationwide and 30 of them are women.

"We are afraid that they are also experiencing what was experienced by Andrea (Rosal) though hindi sila pregnant malaki ‘yung chance na hindi tinatratong tao ang mga political prisoners sa kanilang mga kinalalagyan," he said.

Rosal, the daughter of the late New People's Army (NPA) spokesperson Gregorio "Ka Roger" Rosal, was arrested by the members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the National Bureau of Investigation on March 27 for allegedly abducting and killing a soldier and a man in Laguna in 2007.

Rosal, an alleged top rebel leader in Southern Luzon, was arrested during the last trimester of her pregnancy.

After two months of being detained at the Taguig City Jail, Rosal gave birth to baby Diona Andrea at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) on May 16. The infant died a day after she was given birth due to hypoxemia or lack of the oxygen in the blood.

Supporters of the Rosal blamed the government for the death of her first born and said that she was not granted necessary care for the expectant woman inside the jail.

Reports said that aside from not having a well-ventilated detention cell and enough and decent space to stay, Rosal was also allegedly made to go back and forth from the detention center to the PGH.

According to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), the attending doctors who examined Rosal on the morning of May 16 discharged her as there were no signs that she was about to give birth. However, jail authorities brought her back to the hospital on same day due to early labor signs. She gave birth hours later.

Rosal was only allowed to visit her daughter's wake in Manila for three hours and was not granted furlough to attend her baby's burial in Rosal's hometown in Batangas due to security reason.

From her daughter's wake, Rosal was returned to the PGH for further recovery. She was transferred back to the Taguig jail on June 4.

Included in the CHR petition is a letter from Ma. Loida Magpatoc, a co-detainee of Rosal in Taguig jail female dormitory.

Magpatoc said she was able to witness the ill-treatment to Rosal inside the jail. She said that she tried sending a letter to the authorities, particularly to the CHR but warden Jail Inspector Ellen Barrios blocked the letter from reaching the authorities.

Clamor said that history was "obviously" repeating itself and "now is the time the government should end mocking the justice system."

In 1989, five years old Rosal, who was then under the custody of her grandmother in Camarines Sur, was allegedly abducted by government troops and brought to a radio station to ask her father to surrender to the government.

"Sobra na ang ginagawa nila kay Andrea at nakakatakot nab aka ganoon din sa ibang political prisoners," Clamor said.

"We won't stop until justice is served to Baby Diona Andrea and for the unconditional release of her mother, on behalf of all women and mothers who might fall victim to this government policy of political prosecution," the petition read. (Sunnex)

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