Press Release
December 18, 2010

Legarda Hails Release of 'Morong 43'

Senator Loren Legarda today expressed elation over the release of the forty-three health workers, known as 'Morong 43', who were earlier arrested by the military on allegations of links to the communist group.

"I am glad that the courts acted in haste over the executive's order to withdraw the cases filed against the 43 health workers. More than being a timely present for Christmas, their release is a statement of our country's commitment to respect human rights," Legarda said.

As a staunch advocate of human rights, Legarda has been monitoring their condition and would constantly call on the government's attention to look into their plight especially those concerning the detainees' rights.

Days after their arrest, the Senator urged the previous administration to look into allegations of torture and sexual molestation of the health workers who were then under the custody of the military.

Legarda also appealed to the judiciary to allow one of the detainees, Judilyn Oliveros, to be allowed to nurse her new born baby in a hospital facility.

Last week, the Senator visited the health workers at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City where they were detained. She was concerned with their health because they went through a hunger strike in protest for their continued detention.

"With the release of the Morong 43, we also hope that the government would continue to look into the condition of other political detainees, and other prisoners as well, to ensure that their rights are not being curtailed. We have an obligation to respect human rights not just of individuals who enjoy liberty but also of those who are being held in prison," Legarda concluded.

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