September 17, 2011
Reference: Cristina Palabay, Tanggol Bayi Spokesperson (09175003879)
RIGHTS VIOLATIONS, DETENTION OF WOMEN RIGHTS DEFENDERS CONTINUE UNDER PNOY – TANGGOL BAYI
TanggolBayi, an organization of women human rights defenders, today called for the immediate release of all political prisoners, especially women political prisoners, the elderly and sickly ones, as they joined the families and friends of political prisoners in a henna tattoo and facepainting activity at the Quezon Memorial Circle.
Cristina Palabay, convenor of TanggolBayi, said there are currently thirty women political prisoners among the 360 political prisoners who are currently detained in various jail facilities.
“Many of them were charged with fabricated charges of rebellion and criminal offenses in the course of their work and advocacies as women human rights defenders, when they question and became vocal and active critics of government policies and programs. It is lamentable that the political persecution, repression, state violence and militarism against women human rights defenders continue, from the Martial Law period up to the present administration,” said Palabay.
Among these women political prisoners are MoretaAlegre (Correctional Institution for Women), a 65 year old farmer, who was imprisoned together with her husband Jesus and son Selman, because of trumped up charges of murder, as they were vocal critics and campaigners against landgrabbing in their area; 21-year old MariconMontajes (Batangas Provincial Jail), the youngest among political detainees, who was a student filmmaker from the University of the Philippines Film Institute, a member of film organization UP Sining at Lipunan and of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines, arrested in June 2010 during an immersion program with peasants in Batangas; 57-year old Gloria Floresca(Ilocos Sur Provincial Jail), a former organizer of Gabriela in La Union, who was illegally arrested recently on rebellion charges; 42-year old businesswoman Marilyn Badayos-Condes(Dumaguete City Jail), arrested June 2011 for charges of rebellion and was denied immediate medical attention when her injured arm bled during her arrest; Lumad Manobo activist JovelynTawa-ay and former student activist Lucy Canda (Correctional Institution for Women), arrested in 2006 during a military operation, held incommunicado for three days, and charged with rebellion; and 29-year old Charity Diño (Batangas Provincial Jail), a former school teacher, who was illegally arrested, tortured and detained in 2009 while she and her colleagues were inviting community residents for the activities for urban poor week.
TanggolBayi called on Pres. Noynoy Aquino “to take heart and show compassion for these women, many of them are mothers and grandmothers whose families have been left at a disadvantage because of their absence and the continuing violation of their rights, by acting on their immediate and unconditional release.”
“Every day they are kept in jail, their rights as women human rights defenders are being violated, constrained and silenced, Palabay concluded.