News Release
23 November 2017

Families and rights groups demand dismissal of trumped up charges vs four political prisoners

TAGUIG CITY — Families and rights advocates held a simultaneous action infront of the Taguig Hall of Justice today calling for the dismissal of the trumped up charges against four political prisoners detained at Camp Bagong Diwa.

“All of them have spent almost 10 years of injustice by their 10 years of unjust detention. The courts should render partial justice to them by dismissing these charges,” said Gloria Almonte, deputy secretary general of Hustisya.

The political prisoners are Margin Navia, Rhea Pareja, Gemma Carag and Alberto Macasinag. All of them were illegally arrested and detained between the years 2010 and 2011, under the 0000….previous Noynoy Aquino regime.

As their promulgation coincides with the International Day to End Impunity, the families of political prisoners and rights groups demanded that the courts to “right the wrongs” committed against their kin.

Darren Navia, youngest son of Margin Navia, are hopeful that their mother will be reunited with them soon.
“We hope that Mama will be reunited with us. She is not a criminal. Helping farmers and poor people is not a crime. We have a bigger family because Mama treated them as such,” Darren said.

Margin was arrested together with her husband, Donato Navia, in 2008 on trumped up charges of murder, frustrated murder, robbery, kidnapping and illegal detention, and rebellion. They were detained at Fort Bonifacio incommunicado, with little to almost no communication with their family, lawyers or medical personnel.

Donato was released in 2015, while Margin was transferred to Taguig City Jail Female Dormitory.

Also detained at the TCJ Female Dormitory and will undergo promulgation of their cases today are Carag and Pareja.

Pareja will face the last promulgation, after charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives against her were dismissed last Nov. 21.

“My daughter selflessly served communities as a volunteer teacher. When she was arrested on Nov. 21, 2010, the only things soldiers took away from her were books, pens, paper and notebooks. When has these considered a crime?” said Rosita Pareja, mother of Rhea.

After today’s promulgation, two other political prisoners, Macasinag and Carag, will have to face another hurdle before freedom, as they both face another case after this.

”We are hopeful yet vigilant. In the many cases of our political prisoners, many have been wrongly convicted, their unjust incarceration prolonged. They have been made to suffer for crimes they don’t commit. The Duterte government has failed its promise to release political prisoners. We believe we should not be sitting to wait for justice,” said Almonte. ###

Reference: Gloria Almonte, Hustisya deputy secretary general, 0995-5165623
Cristina Guevarra, media liaison, 0999-3933100/0906-1880128

Hustisya National Office
2/F #1 Maaralin cor. Matatag Sts.
Central District, Diliman
Quezon City 1100 Philippines

Telephone: (02) 990-6595