SF CHRP (San Francisco Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines) is a San Francisco based human rights advocacy group. Latest news and views on human rights in the Philippines.
Bulatlat reports that:
In a show of commitment not only to their clients but to the cause of human rights, lawyers and law students from the National Union of People’s Lawyers will hold a sympathy fast to press for the release of all political prisoners.
Edre Olalia, secretary general of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL), said the sympathy fasting aims to press for the release of 385 political prisoners, some of whom are direct clients of the NUPL and many are sick, elderly and women. On Sept. 14, NUPL members in Manila will also visit political prisoners detained at Camp Crame, Fort Bonifacio, Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig and those serving their sentences at the National Bilibid Prisons.
“We are holding this fasting and jail visit as we remember the 40th anniversary of martial law and mark the NUPL’s 5th founding anniversary on September 15,” Olalia said.
The group said that some 300 lawyers and 200 law students and paralegals from its 18 regional and provincial chapters will join the fasting and conduct jail visits in their own localities.
President Benigno Aquino III has ignored calls for the release of all political prisoners. Malacanang spokesman Edwin Lacierda even denied the existence of political prisoners under the Aquino administration.
Based on Karapatan’s monitoring, 84 percent of political prisoners have been charged with common crimes while only four percent have been charged with rebellion. The rest are facing rebellion plus criminal charges.
The Progress Lawyers Network called on the Philippine government to release all political prisoners through a general, unconditional and omnibus amnesty.