December 3, 2011
Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño, today called on the Aquino administration to heed the demands of Compostela Valley political prisoners and other detainees who have been staging a hunger strike for two weeks now.
There are currently 16 political prisoners and 547 inmates in the Compostela Valley provincial jail participating in the strike and daily noise barrage.
“It is ironic that Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the one responsible for so many human rights violations, is being given special treatment and even pampered by the Aquino administration while her victims have to go on a hunger strike just to air their demands that should and can readily be granted by the authorities,” said Casiño.
The demands of the striking prisoners are:
1.) The creation of additional local courts to expedite the resolution of their cases,
2.) The improvement of prison services,
3.) Medical care for the elderly and sickly inmates,
4.) The release of political prisoners all over the country,
5.) Justice to all victims of the government’s counter insurgency programs Oplan Bantay Laya and Oplan Bayanihan.
“Why is it that the Aquino administration dragging its feet on these issues? Does a prisoner have to die first before their legitimate demands are granted?” asked the progressive solon.
“We hope that the public Attorney’s Office (PAO) will beef up its personnel in the Compostela Valley to comply with the request of our inmates who are being detained unnecessarily just because of bureaucratic and logistical problems. I also support and in fact am a co-author of bills by Rep. Zamora-Apsayto to add more court salas in the province,” said Casiño.#