By SLOAN RAMOS
Posted by Bulatlat.com
BAGUIO CITY – The Katribu Partylist sent a report to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights on the continued detention of the 43 community health workers, known as the “Morong 43,” who were arrested by elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, February 6.
In a press conference Wednesday, the Cordillera People’s Alliance (CPA) announced that it has endorsed the said report. Abigail Anongos, CPA secretary general, noted that the case of the Morong 43 is a concern given that two of the detained are indigenous women, one coming from the Cordillera region, referring to Angela Manugan Doloricon, a Kankanaey from the northern town of Sagada, Mountain Province.
Anongos condemned the arrest of the 43 community health workers by elements of the 2nd ID of the AFP. She also said that the CPA has been supporting the campaign of Katribu Partylist, especially in the release of the 43 health workers.
Katribu is a partylist that is representing the indigenous peoples of the country. CPA is one of its founders. It is aiming for a seat in Congress in the May 2010 elections.
Anongos noted that the Philippines is a signatory to the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, therefore the human rights of the 43 arrested health workers must be respected.
However, Anongos said the human rights of the 43 detained health workers are deliberately violated, noting that the men have undergone physical torture, apart from the emotional and mental torture that they are experiencing under detention.She argued that the Morong 43 must instead be commended in their dedication to provide health services to marginalized and far flung communities.
Anongos added that local health workers in the Cordillera are also experiencing harassment from state agencies. She said that members of the Community Health Education, Services and Training in the Cordillera Region (Chestcore), a community health organization, also experienced intimidation from soldiers while they were conducting a medical mission in the province of Kalinga.