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October 22, 2014

Media Release

Latest CA decision a step towards justice

The 43 health workers, collectively known as the ‘Morong 43’ hailed the recent Court of Appeals (CA) favoring a full-blown trial over former Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) motion to dismiss the case against her and other military officials.

Hailing the decision written by Associate Justice Victoria Isabel Paredes as a step towards
achievement of justice, civil suit complainant and Justice for the Morong 43! Justice for All Victims of Human Rights Violations Alliance spokesperson Dr. Alex Montes hoped the courts will “pick up the momentum and relentlessly work to speed up the resolution of the case.”

Associate Justices Isaias Dicdican and Agnes Reyes-Carpio concurred the decision.

In 2012, Judge Afable Cajigal of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 96 denied GMA’s motion for reconsideration which the court to overturn the earlier decision of Branch 226 Pairing Judge Cleto Villacorta to junk the motion to dismiss the case filed against the Pampanga representative.

“GMA may not have been physically present in the Morong 43’s illegal arrest, torture and detention but being the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines at the time, she is responsible for the actions of the state forces. We believe she has knowledge about it and doing nothing about the violation of their human rights while she was President made her very guilty of perpetuating impunity,” the alliance said.

Aside from Arroyo, other named respondents were former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Victor Ibrado, former Army chief Delfin Bangit, former national security adviser Norberto Gonzales, former 2nd Infantry Division chief Maj. Gen. Jorge Segovia, Col. Victorino Zaragoza, Maj. Manuel Tabion, Col. Aurelio Baladad, Lt. Col. Jaime Abawag, and Superintendents Marion Balolong and Allan Nubleza.

The Morong 43 are health workers who were in Morong, Rizal conducting Basic Health Skills Training when they were illegally arrested on February 6, 2010 and detained and tortured for ten months in Camp Capinpin, Tanay, Rizal and Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.##

Reference: Dr. Alex S. Montes – 0927-9259413 | 929-8109 | 881-0910