Press Statement
7 February 2016

Ombudsman ruling Morong 43 health workers not tortured:

SHOCKING AND ATROCIOUS – – international lawyers

The recent Resolution of the Office of the Ombudsman ruling that the Morong 43 health workers were not tortured was met with disapproval by international lawyers who are familiar with the case.

In a recent email message to the NUPL, Jitendra Sharma, President Emeritus of the UN-accredited International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL), said that he was “shocked to read the decision of the Ombudsman in the case of Morong 43”. He lamented that “this belated decision of the Ombudsman is a travesty of justice. It is a mockery in the face of such gross violations of human rights.”

Sharma, who has been designated by the Supreme Court of India as a Senior Advocate and presently the President of the Indian Association of Lawyers, recalled that he had the “privilege of visiting and talking to the brave young men and women while they were in custody.”

IADL lawyers from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Costa Rica, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka,

United States, United Kingdom, among others, led by its current President Jeanne Mirer, visited and interviewed the Morong 43 health workers in jail in September 2010 before they were finally released in December 2010. Ms. Mirer of the US led a high level delegation to the Department of Justice to call for their release and to hold the torturers accountable.

Sharma articulates the IADL’s resounding sentiments when he said that “the Ombudsman’s decision is atrocious. I am not acquainted with the Philippines laws but if an appeal is permissible then I assume, and wish, you will challenge the decision in an effort to set it right.” The NUPL indeed will file a motion for reconsideration next week.

The IADL leader assured the NUPL which is acting as counsels for the complainants doctors, nurses, midwives and community health workers “all the success in your remarkable battle against gross injustice to your fellow citizens.”

(The IADL is a prestigious non-governmental international association of lawyers, judges, and jurists founded in 1946 by leaders participating in the Nuremberg trials and in the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Freedom fighter Nelson Mandela is its first President Emeritus.

(The NUPL is the Philippine affiliate of the IADL where the former’s President and Secretary General serve in the latter’s governing Bureau. The IADL has actively supported the NUPL in its cases and advocacies including political prisoners, peace negotiations, EDCA and Mary Jane Veloso, among others.)


Atty. Edre U. Olalia

NUPL Secretary General


Atty. Ephraim B. Cortez

NUPL ASG for Legal Services

+63917546 5798

Edre U.Olalia
Secretary General, National Union of
Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL)
Bureau member, International
Association of Democratic Lawyers
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