President Aquino eager for resolution of 'Morong 43' case

December 12, 2010 10:44 am 

MANILA, Dec. 11 — President Benigno S. Aquino III on Saturday said his government is sincere about releasing the 43 medical workers who were detained on suspicion of coddling communist rebels in Morong, Rizal last February by ordering the Department of Justice to drop the charges against the detainees.

In an ambush interview at the sidelines of the nationwide Barangay Assembly Day in Tarlac City, the President said his gesture was meant to show “that this government is operating under a set of laws and that we follow the laws of the land."

He said he has also directed the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police “to avoid shortcuts because once we trample upon the rights of others, in effect, we set the conditions for greater dissatisfaction in the system, thereby fuelling insurgency.”

“People must be confident that their rights will be properly observed under my administration,” the President said.

He said when the "Morong 43" issue was brought to his attention, “immediately, I ordered a review by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and she gave me the facts.”

On reports that the release of the Morong detainees is meant to save the forthcoming peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines, the President said there was no relation between the two.

He clarified that two of the 43 detainees were confirmed to have pending arrest warrants for other violations previously but the others simply had namesakes of other people wanted for other crimes. (PNA) scs/PCOO/rsm


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