MANILA — A counsel of the so-called “Morong 43” said former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo must answer the P15-million damage suit filed against her and other military officials by erstwhile detained health workers.

Ephraim Cortez, assistant secretary for legal services of the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL), denied Thursday that the P15-million damage claim of his client was a form of harassment, as earlier expressed by then executive secretary Eduardo Ermita.

“That GMA and her loyalist like Ermita cannot see the case other than harassment betrays continuing arrogance and even moribund personal value systems and a total absence of any shred of human empathy for the victims of human rights violations,” he said.

NUPL also hit the remarks of Colonel Aurelio Balabad of the Army’s 202nd Infantry Brigade maintaining that the former detainees were active members of the New People’s Army (NPA).

Out of the 43, five have confessed they are communist rebels and applied with the government’s Social Integration Program. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)