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August 19, 2010
Reference: Cristina Palabay, Tanggol Bai Convenor (0917-5003879)
WOMEN HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS APPEAL FOR THE IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF
NURSING MOTHER AND HER THREE-WEEK OLD BABY
Tanggol Bai, an association of women human rights defenders, today
called for the immediate release of Carina “Judilyn” Oliveros and her
three-weeks old baby from detention, after their recent transfer from
the Philippine General Hospital to detention facilities in Camp Bagong
Diwa in Taguig yesterday.
Oliveros is among the Morong 43, the forty three community health
workers and medical professionals who were illegally arrested on false
and fabricated charges, tortured and detained since February 6, 2010.
Twenty seven of them are women, two were pregnant at the time of the
Cristina Palabay, Tanggol Bai convenor, said the transfer is an
inhumane move detrimental to the conditions of both mother and baby.
“The detention facility is not a place for a mother and her newly
born. The detention cells are cramped and poorly ventilated, therefore
a highly unsuitable place for Oliveros to recover from her caesarian
delivery and for the baby to be breastfed,” she said.
Palabay cites the baby’s attending pediatrician’s opinion that
breastfeeding is essential in ensuring the child’s normal growth and
development and that the mother should be housed in a comfortable and
stress-free environment for continuous breastfeeding and post natal
“The mother and child’s detention speaks of the continued injustice
against Oliveros and the rest of the Morong 43. Oliveros and baby
should be released immediately for clear humanitarian reasons. We call
on Pres. Aquino to heed this call for justice in his first 100 days in
office,” she commented
Tanggol Bai cites the case of Zenaida Llesis and her 11-month child,
who were released for humanitarian reasons in 2004, as a precedent for
the said action. The baby was suffering then from congenital heart
disease and liver failure.
“There are more than sixty women political prisoners in the country,
most of them were victims of illegal and arbitrary arrests and
detention under the Macapagal-Arroyo government. It is high time that
Pres. Aquino attends to their calls for immediate release and that of
the release of all political prisoners,” Palabay concluded.
Tanggol Bai is an association of women human rights defenders in the
Philippines to advance women’s rights as human rights. Tanggol Bai is
formed to further develop the capability of women human rights
defenders to protect and advance women’s, human and peoples’ rights
while giving special attention to the rights of WHRDs; to provide a
venue by which WHRDs can give mutual assistance to one another
especially to those who are facing immediate threats; provide
information and facilitate HR education to WHRDs to even better
sensitize them to violations of political, civil, economic, social and
cultural rights; through common effort, enable WHRDs to effectively
forward policies and legislations, fight for their rights and generate
resources for the needs of their human rights advocacy; and network
with other human rights organizations in the country and abroad.