Court orders hospital detention for arrested pregnant activist

“The BS Aquino government has shown its fangs once again with the arrest of another pregnant woman. Evil is an understatement to describe the treatment of the government to pregnant women like Maria Miradel Torres and Andrea Rosal. Both were going through difficult pregnancies when state forces mercilessly arrested them on spurious charges.” – Karapatan

By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
Bulatlat.com

MANILA — The Infanta Regional Trial Court Branch 65 on July 1 approved the motion for urgent hospitalization of Maria Miradel Torres, a pregnant activist currently detained at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.

In compliance with the order of the court, Torres was transferred to the Taguig-Pateros District Hospital July 3.

“While we welcome the Court’s decision, we demand Torres’ immediate release for humanitarian reason. Torres, who is four months pregnant, is weak from profuse bleeding and is experiencing threatened abortion. It doesn’t help that she was transferred from one jail to another, and moved back and forth from jail to the hospital for check-up. We say it again, we do not want another Andrea Rosal here,” Marie Hilao-Enriquez, chairperson of Karapatan, said.

Human rights defenders demand release of Torres (Photo by J. Ellao / Bulatlat.com)
Human rights defenders demand release of Torres (Photo by J. Ellao / Bulatlat.com)

Andrea Rosal, daughter of the late spokesperson of the Communist Party of the Philippines Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal, was seven months pregnant when arrested on March 27. She was also detained at the Camp Bagong Diwa, where, she said, she was denied due medical attention. She gave birth to Diona Andrea on May 17 but the baby died the following day.

Torres was arrested by joint elements of the military and the police on June 20, while staying at a relative’s house in Barangay Ilayang Iyam in Lucena, Quezon. She was interrogated for nearly an hour while lying down and her captors searched the house.

Torres was interrogated on the whereabouts of a certain Peping Agudo and Apo, whom she said, she does not know. The arresting team also confiscated her two cellphones.

Karapatan said the arrest warrant was dated June 20, the same day of the arrest, and was presented to Torres on June 21. Torres is charged with murder and accused as a member of the New People’s Army. Due to her condition, she was brought to the Camp Nakar Station Hospital, but on June 25, Torres was transferred to the Camp Bagong Diwa female dorm, where she shared a cell with three other detainees, one of whom reportedly has tuberculosis.

On June 26, she was brought to Taguig-Pateros District Hospital for a check up, and then brought back to Camp Bagong Diwa. On June 27, Torres was supposed to go back to the said hospital for ultrasound but she refused because she felt too weak to travel, Karapatan said in a statement.

“She was advised by the doctor who examined her to have complete bed rest but the inhuman condition inside the jail is unfit for her delicate pregnancy. Lawyers who visited Torres on June 25 saw her lying on a plywood bed. Her things, including medicine, were confiscated by the military while they were on the way to Camp Bagong Diwa,” Karapatan said in a statement.

Hilao-Enriquez said: “The BS Aquino government has shown its fangs once again with the arrest of another pregnant woman. Evil is an understatement to describe the treatment of the government to pregnant women like Maria Miradel Torres and Andrea Rosal. Both were going through difficult pregnancies when state forces mercilessly arrested them on spurious charges.” ()

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