FILE PHOTO: Former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
The Justice for the Morong 43 Alliance rallied in front of the Sandigabayan on Thursday — they want a fast resolution on the case of Morong 43.
Morong 43 refers to the forty three health workers arrested by the military in Morong Rizal in 2010 for allegedly being members of the New People’s Army.
“Ang gusto natin mangyari at maparusahan ang mga gumawa ng torture sa kanila yan ang gusto natin and that will bring justice (What we want is punishment for those who tortured them, and that will bring justice),” Morong 43 supported Eleonor Jara said.
In 2015, the Ombudsman dropped the torture case against former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, General Delfin Bangit, General Victor Ibrado and former national defense secretary Norberto Gonzales.
Only eight AFP officials and two policemen have been charged with violating the rights of the arrested health workers.
Supporters of the Morong 43 say that Arroyo and other AFP officials must be held accountable for their involvement in the case.
The appeal to include Arroyo and other AFP officials is currently pending in the Supreme Court.
“So nakikita namin na hindi lamang sina General Segovia, Zaragoza o mga major at lieutenant ang responsible kundi yung buong gobyerno ni Arroyo dahil sila ang nagplano nag devise ng Oplan Bantay Laya at dahil doon kaya nangyari itong illegal arrest at detention ang tortur ng Morong 43 (We see that its not only General Segovia, Zaragoza or major lieutenants who are responsible but the whole administration of Arroyo because they devised Oplan Bantay Laya which resulted in the illegal arrest, detention and torture of the Morong 43),” said the group’s legal counsel, Atty. Ephraim Cortez.
The accused AFP officials were supposed to be arraigned on Thursday but the Sandiganbayan deferred it to May 24 due to pending motions. — Mon Jocson | UNTV News & Rescue