• Page Views 1490
  • Many of our kababayan are surprised to know that there are political prisoners in detention under the BS Aquino government. They are even more surprised to know that that there are women political prisoners who have given birth while in detention and are nursing their babies. What I want to say is: times have not changed.

    I was in university when Marcos declared martial law and I have witnessed the changes, or rather, the absence of changes in the country with the post-Marcos governments. While the presidents changed, the basic terrible conditions of landlessness, poverty, unemployment, to name a few, remained the same or continued to worsen. People’s organized reaction to demand, uphold and assert their rights through various forms of resistance and dissent continued and even grew stronger. History has taught us that wherever there is dissent and resistance, there will be political prisoners. Political prisoners are the living witnesses to our times and our living reminders that “in the Philippines, it is NOT more fun.”

    Andrea-and-Miradel

    Writing this piece as we celebrate International Women’s Day around the globe, I would like to highlight two Filipino women political prisoners Andrea Rosal and Miradel Torres who remain behind bars at the Taguig City Jail.

    Andrea Rosal was pregnant with her first child when she was illegally arrested on March 27, 2014. There is the strong belief that this was because she is the daughter of the late spokesperson Roger Rosal of the outlawed Communist Party of the Philippines. Like almost all political prisoners, the government has charged Andrea Rosal with trumped up criminal charges of murder and kidnapping with murder. The physical conditions in prison, lack of medical and hospital access, the actions of the guards, etc violated international rules for the treatment of women prisoners like Andrea. She gave birth to a baby girl in detention but her baby  died two days later. If Andrea was accorded the treatment as stated in international conventions, she could have been better looked after and who knows, her baby could have lived.

    Miradel Torres, a member of GABRIELA women’s organization, was also pregnant when she was illegally arrested on June 20, 2014. She gave birth on November 2014 to a baby girl, continues to nurse her baby son and keeps up the fight to keep her baby with her in jail. Requests by her doctors for an extended stay at the Philippine General Hospital have been denied. Like Andrea Rosal, the government has slapped her with charges of murder and frustrated murder.

    The Philippine alliance of human rights organizations called Karapatan reports that there are 491 political prisoners, of which 43 are women. These statistics DO not include Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Janet Napoles, prison celebrities charged with plunder, graft and corruption. These are women criminal prisoners who are kept in jail  or in hospital in conditions complete with prison comforts reserved for the elite and provided by those in power.

    Napoles is the pork barrel queen who stole billions of pesos of the people’s money with accomplices from thieves posing as government officials. Of course, the public remembers former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo but may not know where she is now. The former president is charged with graft and corruption, has been in “hospital detention” since 2012 and is now always photographed with the brace around her neck. Of course, there are other male prison celebrities, Jinggoy Estrada, Bong Revilla, Juan Ponce Enrile, all lawmakers who have broken the law. (That is another column article altogether).

    What sets Andrea Rosal and Miradel Torres apart from Janet Napoles and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in terms of prison treatment? One simple answer is that the government protects its own  people and its own interests. Class interests are strong in prison as it is in the outside. Andrea and Miradel are political prisoners while Janet and Gloria are common criminals.

    As I finish this piece, human rights groups have filed criminal and administrative charges against the Michelle Ng-Bonto, jail warden of the Special Intensive Care Area 1 (SICA-1) in Camp Bagong

    Diwa, Taguig before the Ombudsman’s Office for violations of the rights of detainees, gross misconduct, grave abuse of authority, gross oppression and unprofessional conduct. Sisterhood and human compassion apparently do not extend to female wardens.

    A militant International Women’s Day to all the PnT readers and to all migrant women workers and members of Migrante BC!

    Share

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    New Posts Recently publish post More

    • 23 August 2019
      9 hours ago No comment

      How PH won bronze in 1954 Fiba World Cup

      When the FIBA World Cup bound Philippine Basketball team flies to China for its Group D series with Italy, Serbia and Angola, coach Yeng Guiao and his boys should be additionally motivated by the sweet memory of their counterparts’ 1954 escapade in the same tournament. It was the Philippines’ ...

    • 23 August 2019
      9 hours ago No comment

      I am loved’: Bea Alonzo breaks silence on controversy

      A month after her cryptic post hinting at infidelity let loose the year’s biggest showbiz controversy thus far, Bea Alonzo broke her silence on social media Tuesday with a positive message about being loved. On Instagram, the actress shared an old photo of her as a child with her ...

    • 23 August 2019
      9 hours ago No comment

      Rody urges Pinoys: Draw inspiration from ‘Ninoy’

      PRESIDENT Duterte yesterday urged all Filipinos to do what they can to safeguard the freedoms they enjoy now while helping serve their fellow men. In his message to commemorate the death anniversary of Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., the President also encouraged those in government to draw inspiration from ...

    • 23 August 2019
      9 hours ago No comment

      Coco Martin, ‘Ang Probinsyano’ co-stars honor late FPJ’s 80th birthday

      Coco Martin visited the grave of Fernando Poe, Jr. to commemorate the late icon’s 80th birthday on Tuesday, August 20.  Coco Martin visited the grave of Fernando Poe, Jr. to commemorate the late icon’s 80th birthday on Tuesday, August 20. The actor came early in the morning to pay ...

    • 23 August 2019
      9 hours ago No comment

      Piolo Pascual and son, Iñigo, Live in Vancouver!

      The Philippines’ most sought-after heartthrob, multi-awarded actor and singer is heading to Vancouver, BC!  Mabuhay Enterprise in cooperation with Backstage Ventures, Victoria Nannies and Unit Blue Media, presents “Father & Son The Canada Tour 2019” with the Philippines’ Mr Screen Idol Piolo Pascual and his multi-talented son Iñigo Pascual. Hearts ...

    %d bloggers like this: