MANILA -- More than 250 days after 43 health workers were arrested in Morong, Rizal and two babies born thereafter, Representative Emmi de Jesus (Gabriela) renewed her call for President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III to order the courts to drop all charges against the group.

De Jesus said the health workers, collectively known as "Morong 43", were illegally detained and tortured on the basis of an erroneous search order and fabricated evidence.

The lawmaker asserted that the Morong 43 mothers should be given proper care as well as their babies. Mercy Castro, the second Morong 43 mom, gave birth last October 18 at the Philippine General Hospital.

“Mercy Castro’s two-day-old daughter deserves the right to breastfeed exclusively outside the confines of the unhealthy prison cell,” de Jesus stressed.

“To avoid another lengthy legal process of having her transferred to a hospital, President Noynoy has it in his power to right the wrong in this whole case. Gabriela calls on him to exercise his Presidential power by immediately declaring the Morong 43 released and all the cases against them dropped," she added. “The road from Morong to freedom is the only ‘Daang Matuwid’ in the case of the Morong 43+2.” (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)